A startling infographic has highlighted just how out of control the country’s meal servings are – with the average restaurant portion more than four times as big as it was in the 1950s.
The image, created by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, shows a cup of fountain soda is now six times as large, while burgers and a portion of fries have both tripled in size.
Also horrifying is how a chocolate bar is now a staggering 1,233 per cent larger than it was in the early 1900s, according to the CDC results for its The New (Ab)normal campaign.
It is unsurprising then, that adults are 26 pounds heavier today than they were in the 1950s; women have on average increased by 24.5 pounds while men have expanded by 28 pounds.
The CDC has released the graphic to raise awareness of how our portion sizes are growing – and how they could unknowingly be posing a health hazard to families dining out.
It comes as other research indicates that 96 per cent of meals at chain restaurants throughout the country exceed sodium, fat and calories in nutritional guidelines set by the Department of Agriculture.
The Rand Corp. study found the chances of finding a healthy entree is ‘painfully low’. Appetizers are a danger zone, averaging at 813 calories per serving compared to 674 calories for a main meal.
PORTION SIZES BY NUMBERS
1,233 Percentage increase of size of a chocolate bar since early 1900s
223 Percentage increase of size of a burger since the 1950s
500 Percentage increase of size of a fountain soda since the 1950s
4.56 Increase in size of restaurant portion compared to the 1950s
28 Increase in number of pounds of average weight of a man since the 1960s
24.5 Increase in number of pounds of average weight of a woman since the 1960s
SUPERSIZED PORTIONS: 9 IN 10 RESTAURANT MEALS ARE TOO BIG
A staggering 96 per cent of main meals sold at U.S. chain restaurants exceed the daily limits for calories, sodium, fat and saturated fat suggested by the Department of Agriculture.
An 18-month study by Rand Corp. found the chances of finding an entree that is healthy ‘are painfully low’.
It looked at the nutritional content of 30,923 meals from 245 chains across the country.
‘The restaurant industry needs to make big changes to be part of the solution,’ analyst Helen Wu told USA Today.
Surprisingly, appetizers averaged at 813 calories while main meals were 674 calories.
And interestingly, family restaurants had more calories (by 271 calories) and fat (by 16 grams) than fast-food restaurants.