Food portions: America VS World

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This picture was published on Norwegian humor website in 2004. It shows the comparison of a European woman on the left and an American woman on the right. At the bottom of each picture you can see the food that they normally eat. A good friend of mine lives in Paris, France, she says most of the women there are in a good shape. Have you ever been to France? It’s a beautiful country and the food is delicious! French people know their cheeses and breads and yet they stay skinny. What’s the SECRET?

The SECRET is SMALL PORTIONS! Here is what Paul Rozin, professor of psychology at Penn and lead author of a paper in the September issue of the journal Psychological Science says: “While the French eat more fat than Americans, they probably eat slightly fewer calories, which when compounded over years can amount to substantial differences in weight.”Image

“Rozin and his colleagues weighed portions at 11 comparable pairs of eateries in Paris and Philadelphia, including fast-food outlets, pizzerias, ice cream parlors and a variety of ethnic restaurants. They found the mean portion size across all Paris establishments was 277 grams, compared to a mean in Philadelphia of 346 grams — 25 percent more than in Paris. Philadelphia’s Chinese restaurants served meals that were on average 72 percent heftier than those served by Chinese restaurants in Paris.

Many studies have shown that, if food is moderately palatable, people tend to consume what is put in front of them and generally consume more when offered more food,” Rozin said. Image“Much discussion of the ‘obesity epidemic’ in the U.S. has focused on personal willpower, but our study shows that the environment also plays an important role and that people may be satisfied even if served less than they would normally eat.” (The information above is based on the article from Sciencedaily).

Are big portions a problem? Definitely! Studies have shown that people consume 30% more food when given bigger portions. And guess what? People who prefer small portions don’t really have much choice! The standard “small” size of coke around the world simply doesn’t exist in US! ImageWhat’s considered “small” in US is a “medium” everywhere else! WHY??? Why not make smaller cups? I don’t drink more than I want to, but I would also prefer that I didn’t have to throw it away…I don’t like to waste food. And how about waiters, who serve you more food than you have asked for? It happened to me a few times. I ordered a steak and said that I don’t want any sides, cause it’s too much food, the waitress was genuinely surprised, she said “but it’s free”…and brought me a salad with my steak! Everything here is pushing people towards eating more…

While writing this article I shared my thoughts with a friend, he said “France is a walking country,  America isn’t”. For me – it’s justifying unhealthy portions! No matter how much people walk and exercise, if they eat more than they spend- they gain weight. Average woman, with sedentary lifestyle needs about 1800-2200 calories a day. It’s simple: eat more- gain weight, eat less- lose weight, eat as much as you need per day- maintain weight!

I say “It doesn’t matter where you live and what style of life you have, eat in moderation and make good food choices and you will be in a good shape”.

Want to congratulate those who are working out hard and are an inspiration to us all! And it doesn’t matter where you start and how much you need to lose – the important part is that you have started and you are doing it! One of my favorite and most inspiring pages on Facebook is Ripped Goddess. Women are sharing their true transformation stories and support each other in meeting their goals! Everything is possible- just do it!

FitAli

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