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Portion Distortion - S/O of American weight thread


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Is anyone on this board old enough (snicker) to remember portion changes within her lifetime? For example, I remember when King Dons, now Little Debbie brand, were packaged in tin foil with just 1 cake per serving. Now there's two cakes and they are taller than the ones I remember back in the day. Although the cream filling is still just as good. :001_smile:

 

Anyone else have portion memories?

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Yup. I remember when bottles were 8 or 16 ounces. Then it went to 16 or 24 ounces. I don't know when the last time I saw a 16 ounce soda.

 

I remember when super-size me didn't exist.

 

This is one of the most obvious to me. I remember when eating out, that a large soda was 16oz, 12oz medium and 8oz was a small. When I eat out now, I have to order a "16/24oz soda" by the ounce size (I try to look at the cup and order by what it looks like). The size of small, medium, large mean nothing anymore.

 

 

Just an vent:

At my work they do A Lot to promote healthy lifestyles. Health insurance premiums are higher for smokers, higher BMI, large waistlines, high cholesterol...... BUT>>>>We used to pay 50cents for a 20 ounce soda, they took that away and replaced it. Now we pay 75cents for a 44ounce. So, on one hand they don't want us to drink it....but they increased the employee size, by more than double...which almost ensures that employees will drink more. :glare: Portion control at its finest!

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Nope, a half gallon is now 1.5 quarts. Some brands are 1.75, but not many. Everything's getting smaller these days, except some things, apparently. I do hate that at some fast food places, you can' get a small drink or fries. I usually just want water, but sometimes I want a taste of pop.

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Nope, a half gallon is now 1.5 quarts. Some brands are 1.75, but not many. Everything's getting smaller these days, except some things, apparently. I do hate that at some fast food places, you can' get a small drink or fries. I usually just want water, but sometimes I want a taste of pop.

 

YES! I distinctly recall the bags of cheese I buy at Sam's being bigger than what I bought last time I went. They're 5lb bags now. I asked the cashier and she acted like I was the crazy one. I know it was more than 5lbs for the same price!

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This is one of the most obvious to me. I remember when eating out, that a large soda was 16oz, 12oz medium and 8oz was a small.

 

This is my memory too. I was thinking about this the other day. When I was a kid, a Happy Meal from McDonalds had a small kids cup, even smaller than a regular small. But I think the Happy Meals today come with a 12-oz cup. That seems like an awful lot of soda! Well, the Happy Meal itself isn't great either, is it? I remember when McDonalds use to be good. I've totally lost my taste for it now. Eww..

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When was the last time anyone purchased a 5 pound bag of sugar? I've only seen 4 pound bags in a few years.

 

Oh, is a half gallon of ice cream still half a gallon?

 

Very few brands of icecream make a full half gallon size. That change happened many years ago.

 

It is also getting harder to find icecream that has under 5-6 ingredients in it. Some have a list of ingredients so long that it makes me wonder what the ratio of real food items vs. chemicals are.

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Anyone else have portion memories?

 

Gosh, yes! This has been on my mind a lot lately because of yet another weight gain (grr!) and just noticing the insane portion sizes all around me.

 

Yes, the half-gallon ice cream was the norm when I was a child, and it lasted our family of 5 or 6 (depending on foster child in the house or not) two rounds of servings. Not two servings on the same day, either. I mean we each had a bowl of ice cream on a Saturday night, then we got the rest of the box out the next Saturday to finish it off.

 

At vacation bible school as a child we finished inside stuff, then played outside running around playing kickball in the summer sun until we were hot and sweaty. At the end of the evening we'd all line up for our dixie-cup of koolaid and a single oreo-size cookie. Some of the biggest kids might ask for a second cookie. What are they serving nowadays? I'm guessing it's way more than what we had.

 

Another memory: I remember seeing my first BK Whopper ordered by my older cousin. He kept telling me "Wait'll you see how BIG this thing is! I can barely hold it with two hands!" Sure enough, we were all astounded at how any restaurant expected one person to eat that monstrosity. And sure enough, my auntie wrapped up one half of cousin's Whopper to take home when he could not finish it all. And not because he was full of french fries or one of those giant sodas. Combos hadn't been dreamt of, I don't think.

 

Anyway, lots of portion stories I could bore you with. We were not real poor, food was plentiful, we ate out regularly, and my parents were never stingy. People just did not require so much "sustenance" back then.

 

Packages are smaller, yet our portions keep growing! It's insane. I'm just as guilty of overindulging as the next person. So need to fix that!

Edited by BridgeTea
my paragraphs disappeared...weird
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This is my memory too. I was thinking about this the other day. When I was a kid, a Happy Meal from McDonalds had a small kids cup, even smaller than a regular small. But I think the Happy Meals today come with a 12-oz cup. That seems like an awful lot of soda! Well, the Happy Meal itself isn't great either, is it? I remember when McDonalds use to be good. I've totally lost my taste for it now. Eww..

 

I'm pretty sure it was never good, lol. In every generation, kids are like "yum!" and parents are like "I remember when McD's used to be good."

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When was the last time anyone purchased a 5 pound bag of sugar? I've only seen 4 pound bags in a few years.

 

Oh, is a half gallon of ice cream still half a gallon?

 

I have a 5 lb. bag in my kitchen right now--purchased about a week or so ago. My grocery store has both sizes. This one is Pioneer brand.

 

Domino's still has a 5 lb bag too. (The 10 lb bag is a better deal.)

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Dh and I were telling the kids how the regular meal at McD's was the same size as today's happy meal for kids. They couldn't believe it.

 

And my local Kroger has both 4# and 5# bags of sugar but price-per-pound-wise the 4# bag is a better deal.

 

And the graham cracker boxes are the same size but the packets inside the box are smaller. They have at least one cracker fewer than before.

 

And that 64oz box of orange juice that has only 59oz in it. :glare:

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This is my memory too. I was thinking about this the other day. When I was a kid, a Happy Meal from McDonalds had a small kids cup, even smaller than a regular small. But I think the Happy Meals today come with a 12-oz cup. That seems like an awful lot of soda! Well, the Happy Meal itself isn't great either, is it? I remember when McDonalds use to be good. I've totally lost my taste for it now. Eww..

 

When there are no witnesses, I go through the drive through and get a Happy Meal. I tell them it's for a boy so they don't get suspicious. I know it's crappy, but sometimes it's what I WANT. The Happy Meal is a meal for me. And now it comes win apples and smaller fries. I always forget to take the toy out of the car and get busted :glare:

 

That's interesting. I did notice that I couldn't find any normal sized plates, anymore. I usually just use a salad plate, but that can be too small.

 

 

What size are you looking for? I have corelle dinner and luncheon size, some clear glass salad plates, then the corelle saucers. That seems to cover every situation.

 

d0b9b589.jpg

Edited by KungFuPanda
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Forr me the wierd cereal box quantities and oj are the worst. Though the craziest price for portion I've ever seen was the container of regular plain cheerios for sale in the infant aisle. $1.50 for less than two ounces in a plastic container.

 

Convenience foods (except the ones marketed for dieters in 100 calorie portions that cost more per portion) tend to have inflated portion sizes; groceries in bulk containers (like juice cartons) rather than individual tend to be skimped to inflate prices without inattentive consumers (who are still buying the same size box with less in it) noticing.

 

For all of that, Americans still have HEAVILY subsidized food costs. We pay less as a percentage of income for food than most of the rest of the world. It's just unfortunate that such a large percentage of that is corn and soy (mostly GMO to be herbicide resistant). And it's those foods that are the most processed/subsidized that have had their portion sizes (and appearance in ingredient lists) inflated. Those foods include dairy, beef and chicken, because the animals have been fed the corn and soy.

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The size of muffins has grown. When I was a kid, getting a muffin meant something that fit in a hand. Now they're twice as big at our store.

 

 

That's interesting. I did notice that I couldn't find any normal sized plates, anymore. I usually just use a salad plate, but that can be too small.

 

When dh and I went shopping for new plates my only requirement was that they had a lip. It brought the food area down to the regular 9" and keeps us from loading them as much as our old plates. It makes us think about getting seconds instead of trying to be members of the clean plate club.

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The size of muffins has grown. When I was a kid, getting a muffin meant something that fit in a hand. Now they're twice as big at our store.

 

This. From muffin recipes sitting in front of me as I type:

 

1970 Joy of Cooking 1.75c flour+1/4 c. sugar = 2 dozen muffins

1990 Better Homes and Garden 1.75c flour+1/3 c. sugar = 1 dozen muffins

2006 Fine Cooking 3.5c flour+1 1/3c. sugar = 1 dozen muffins

2010 Eating Well (healthy take) 2c flour + 1c sugar = 1 dozen muffins

 

Note how high the healthy version is in sugar. I've found that lots of recipes out on the web that promote healthy versions focus on whole grains, adding fruits and nuts, and only slightly reduce the sugar. To me, modern muffins are the equivalent of cupcakes.

 

More on portion sizes: 1990 BH+G meatloaf recipe 1 lb gr.beef=4 servings

current online BH+G meatloaf recipe 1.5lb gr. beef=4 servings

 

1970 1 lb. spaghetti = 8 servings

now 1 lb. spaghetti = 4 servings

 

1970 1 bagel weighs 2-3 ounces

now 1 bagel weighs 6+ ounces

 

I personally like to use normal plates (we use a mix of lunch and dinner plates) and divide it mentally into four quandrants: 1/4 main/protein, 1/4grain/starch, 1/2 salads, veggies, fruit. No seconds. I follow NoS principles (http://www.nosdiet.com because they best mimic healthy food habits from around the world.

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OH, very interesting. I'm only in my early 30s so I don't remember as much as others but I do remember when soda cans were the norms. We very, very rarely went out to eat when I was a kid, if it was once a month then it was a lot and both of my parents worked. We use different size of plates. Often I will use salad plates for everyone but some things spread out- like salad or if we are eating several different things.

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And it's those foods that are the most processed/subsidized that have had their portion sizes (and appearance in ingredient lists) inflated. Those foods include dairy, beef and chicken, because the animals have been fed the corn and soy.

Oh, yeah. Chickens are oddly huge now.

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I use Corelle luncheon dishes (9") but also have dinner plates for larger dinners (11"). They're the only ones that would fit in my pre-1950's cabinets!

 

Those are what we use too. I use the luncheon dishes for most meals. I do use the dinner size plates when we are having salad for dinner because it takes up so much more room. Or for certain people (who do NOT live with me, thankfully) who do not like their food to touch. 11" isn't nearly so big if you need to keep all your food from touching, lol.

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I was surprised to see 5 lb sugar bags again recently. They were on sale one day either at Publix or Kroger... can't remember which. I haven't seen them in ages! And the 4 lb bags are way more expensive than the 5 lb bags were just 5 years ago.

 

At sit-down restaurants, I sometimes eat a small portion and take the rest home. It's amazing how many meals you can get out of one restaurant meal! We ate at Jason's Deli last Sunday, and after eating half my sandwich (Italian Cruz Poboy with just the meat and the lettuce), I was full! So I packed up the other half and took it home, ate it for lunch the next day. I was especially shocked at the size of the kids' plate. I'd ordered two ham and cheese kids' meals for the 3 kids to split, forgetting that they give the kids a HUGE half sandwich. We took some of that home too, and DS1 had it for lunch the next day. My boys are usually big eaters (and skinny as a rail), but sometimes the kids' meal portions can be ridiculous.

 

At fast food restaurants, I've often been known to order a kids' meal for myself. When I was working, before kids, I would always get a kids' meal at Chik-Fil-A. It would be 4 nuggets, a small thing of fries (smaller than their "small size"), and a milk for something like $3? Great deal, and it was plenty of food for a grown woman. :)

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DD and I decided to measure the 1920s bowl compared to a Corelle one we use today for cereal.

 

The 1920's bowl held 3/4 cup of water

The Corelle one held 3 cups.

 

No wonder I can't lose this last 10 lbs. I'm still eating 1 bowl of cereal, but look at the size difference!

 

We have decided to get out the 1920s China and use it for every day dishes.

 

:)

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It is also getting harder to find icecream that has under 5-6 ingredients in it. Some have a list of ingredients so long that it makes me wonder what the ratio of real food items vs. chemicals are.

 

Yeah, watch out for Breyers. They are slowly converting all their real ice cream to "frozen dairy dessert." Corn syrup is one of the "new" ingredients. :glare:

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Yeah, watch out for Breyers. They are slowly converting all their real ice cream to "frozen dairy dessert." Corn syrup is one of the "new" ingredients. :glare:

 

Yeah, I noticed that after I got my ice cream home. :glare: Their loss. I used to spend the extra for their chemical-free ice cream. Not anymore. You really have to read labels, and continue to read the same labels.

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Yeah, I noticed that after I got my ice cream home. :glare: Their loss. I used to spend the extra for their chemical-free ice cream. Not anymore. You really have to read labels, and continue to read the same labels.

 

There was some old Rocky Road on the shelf -- nabbed it. Told kids to get ready to start making their own...

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We went out for dinner last week and I wanted chicken. Every chicken option on the menu included two chicken breasts. Who eats two chicken breasts in a meal? I usually split two between my 2 daughters and I.

 

I just want to go to a restaurant where they will sell me a normal sized plate of food so I don't feel guilty for wasting a ton (I don't like leftovers).

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Gosh, yes! This has been on my mind a lot lately because of yet another weight gain (grr!) and just noticing the insane portion sizes all around me.

 

Yes, the half-gallon ice cream was the norm when I was a child, and it lasted our family of 5 or 6 (depending on foster child in the house or not) two rounds of servings. Not two servings on the same day, either. I mean we each had a bowl of ice cream on a Saturday night, then we got the rest of the box out the next Saturday to finish it off.

 

At vacation bible school as a child we finished inside stuff, then played outside running around playing kickball in the summer sun until we were hot and sweaty. At the end of the evening we'd all line up for our dixie-cup of koolaid and a single oreo-size cookie. Some of the biggest kids might ask for a second cookie. What are they serving nowadays? I'm guessing it's way more than what we had.

 

Another memory: I remember seeing my first BK Whopper ordered by my older cousin. He kept telling me "Wait'll you see how BIG this thing is! I can barely hold it with two hands!" Sure enough, we were all astounded at how any restaurant expected one person to eat that monstrosity. And sure enough, my auntie wrapped up one half of cousin's Whopper to take home when he could not finish it all. And not because he was full of french fries or one of those giant sodas. Combos hadn't been dreamt of, I don't think.

 

Anyway, lots of portion stories I could bore you with. We were not real poor, food was plentiful, we ate out regularly, and my parents were never stingy. People just did not require so much "sustenance" back then.

 

Packages are smaller, yet our portions keep growing! It's insane. I'm just as guilty of overindulging as the next person. So need to fix that!

 

Wow, I never put those two observations side by side. So what that actually means is while we are conditioned to expect a certain amount on the plate, the amount purchased for the same $ is less = growing profits for the food company and waistlines for America. Is this a fair conclusion?

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It may be a fair conclusion. But the fact that individual portions have gotten so huge explains why we think we don't overeat when we really are overeating.

 

Those of us who are uhm....older..... know we are overeating even though we are eating relatively "healthy" foods. But younger people do not realize they are overeating. And even I have to stop and remember that my portion is too big.

 

So now we did another measurement. We took out the serving spoons that go with grandma's China. We compared them to the modern serving spoons I use daily. The modern serving spoon holds twice as much!

 

Ack! This is how one serving has become two servings and no one is the wiser.

 

:confused:

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Yup. I remember when bottles were 8 or 16 ounces. Then it went to 16 or 24 ounces. I don't know when the last time I saw a 16 ounce soda.

 

I remember when super-size me didn't exist.

 

I was working at McDonald's when the Super Size came to be. We were all astounded at the sizes of the cups and fry boxes and thought the whole "Super Size" thing would be a bust.

 

We were all shocked (even the managers!) when we ran out of cups and boxes well before the next truck was due. One of the managers had to make runs to other McDs in the area to bring back some stock. We just couldn't believe it.

 

It was only about a year or so later that we noticed this one lady who kept ordering *two* super sized Quarter Pounder meals was actually sitting in the dining area eating them by herself. :blink:

 

Portions are so distorted now that when you actually see what the correct portion of a food choice should be, this is usually the expression:001_huh:. With all the threads about weight, food portions and what we consider "normal" plays a significant role.

 

Seriously! We were happy to see that we were eating normal portions of meat and fish when I started weighing it. I hate what restaurants have done with portions. :glare:

 

 

When there are no witnesses, I go through the drive through and get a Happy Meal. I tell them it's for a boy so they don't get suspicious. I know it's crappy, but sometimes it's what I WANT. The Happy Meal is a meal for me. And now it comes win apples and smaller fries. I always forget to take the toy out of the car and get busted :glare:

 

 

d0b9b589.jpg

 

Don't feel strange about ordering kids' meals!! I do it all that time and no one bats an eye. They do look at me like I have sprouted two heads when I hand back the toy, though. :confused:

 

 

I love the picture, by the way!! :lol:

 

The size of muffins has grown. When I was a kid, getting a muffin meant something that fit in a hand. Now they're twice as big at our store.

 

Yeah, I hate trying to find a muffin or croissant when we're on vacation (the only times we eat breakfast out, and those are my fave breakfast foods).

 

Dd and I bought croissants from Starbucks a few weeks ago and had to save half of each for a 'snack' later on. They were the size of salad plates!!

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Oh, yeah. Chickens are oddly huge now.

 

You aren't kidding! Have you seen the ones at Costco? It's like they were raised eating nuclear sludge!

 

At sit-down restaurants, I sometimes eat a small portion and take the rest home.

 

I ate at a Pie in the Sky for the first time a few weeks ago (a pizza place). I ordered a chicken salad wrap and dd ordered some spicy pasta thing (off the regular menu).

 

My wrap was so huge, no human could have put it in their mouth, so I had to eat it with a knife and fork. I didn't even eat half of it, and the other half came home with me.

 

Dd ate what she could of her pasta, but it didn't even look like she had touched it. She didn't bother bringing the rest home, though, as she said it wasn't all that good. I swear, they used an entire box of pasta for that one plate!!

 

Yeah, watch out for Breyers. They are slowly converting all their real ice cream to "frozen dairy dessert." Corn syrup is one of the "new" ingredients. :glare:

 

I am *so* disappointed in Breyers because of their changes. I used to only buy Breyers because we liked the taste, texture, and their ingredients. I stopped buying ice cream completely because of their changes.

 

I guess I need to figure out if I can make my own. :glare:

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At sit-down restaurants, I sometimes eat a small portion and take the rest home. It's amazing how many meals you can get out of one restaurant meal!

 

At our local Mexican restaurant dh and I share a meal and we still have enough leftovers that we can both eat for lunch the next day.

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I haven't bought a 5 lb. bag of sugar in years and years.... The smaller organic bags still last me a couple of years...

 

We buy sugar in 1 lb bags. One of those will last us 1.5 to 2 years at the least.

 

Bill

 

 

:blink: 1-2 YEARS? Wow.

 

I buy Xylitol in the 15 pound bags. That lasts me about 2 months. Less in baking season.

 

I *do* bake a lot though.

 

I never much thought about the portion sizes. This has been an eye opener.

 

I noticed the Bryers too. It sucks.

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I am often staying somewhere where it's difficult to deal with leftovers, so I choose the lightest things I can find. Even then the salad is enormous, and when you factor in the volume of dressing it's not a low-calorie option.

 

I've always found burger meals a strange assembly: burger (protein, carbohydrate, fat) served with French fries (more carbohydrate, more fat).

 

Laura

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I've used this recipe for a long time now to make homemade ice cream. I've varied the flavors, added nuts and/or fruits or chocolate chips. It's always been good. I make a gallon at a time (doubling the recipe), and that lasts us a long time unless we're having company or a party. I have my mama's old ice cream maker from the 1970s. I haven't seen any newer ones that make that much at a time.

 

When I was trying to break my sweet tea habit, I searched high and low for smaller glasses. I finally found some at IKEA. The size of modern coffee "cups" and drinking glasses boggles my mind. It may be a chicken and the egg situation, though. I recall watching a documentary about the design of everyday objects, and the designers were claiming that the plates got bigger *because* Americans wanted bigger portions at home like they were getting in restaurants. They also said that even the seats in our cars are wider now, to accommodate our growing behinds. :glare:

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