CPC Fellow Barry Popkin Quoted in NY Times Article on Changes in Portion Size

Dec 8, 2006

Along with the American waistline, the American plate and portion size have grown too. A study at Rutgers University supports earlier research that people today eat bigger servings than they did 20 years ago.

A 1994 informal survey found that the standard plate size in the restaurant industry grew in the early 1990s, from 10 inches to 12.

''That holds 25 percent more food,'' Schwartz said. ''That really makes a difference in how much our plates can hold and how much we eat from them.''

Obesity expert Barry Popkin at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill said the idea of ''value pricing'' in fast food restaurants, which sells much larger portions for a minor cost increase, has also changed perceptions at home.

''The most surprising result is the larger portion size increases for food consumed at home -- a shift that indicates marked changes in eating behavior in general,'' he wrote in a study published in 2003.

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