Bigger isn’t always better, especially when it comes to portion sizes. Standard portion sizes have increased significantly over the years, making it difficult for some to keep calorie intake under control.

The Bigger Picture

Fact: Americans are gaining weight. Check out what a difference 40 years can make.

BMI System

What is a BMI? Body Mass Index; estimates body fat based on height and weight.

BMI Equation: weight (lb) x 703/height (inch)

BMI Scale

=< 18.5: Underweight

18.5 – 24.9: Healthy

25 – 29.9: Overweight

=>30: Obese

1971: 15% of Americans were obese.

2010: 36% of Americans were obese.

Even more shockingly, in 2010, 69% of Americans were overweight or obese.

Why has our nation gained so much weight?

Portion Sizes: Then & Now

Compare today’s typical portion sizes to those from 20 years ago.

French Fries

Then: 210 cal., 2.4 oz.

Now: 610 cal., 6.9 oz.

Chocolate Chip Cookie

Then: 55 cal., 1.5 in. diameter

Now: 275 cal., 3.5 in. diameter


Then: 210 cal., 1.5 oz.

Now: 500 cal., 4 oz.


Then: 140 cal., 3 in. diameter

Now: 350 cal., 6 in. diameter


Then: 333 calories

Now: 590 calories

Soda Pop

Then: 85 cal., 6.5 oz.

Now: 250 cal., 20 oz.

Turkey Sandwich

Then: 320 calories

Now: 820 calories

Spaghetti & Meatballs

Then: 500 calories

Now: 1,025 calories


Then: 45 cal., 8 oz.

Now: 350 cal., 16 oz.

Why Does Size Matter?

The results of a recent American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study might surprise you.

Volunteers were given macaroni and cheese in either a 2.5-cup or a 5-cup container container.

On average, volunteers ate 30% more when given a 5-cup container but reported no increase in fullness.

Surprisingly, most volunteers didn’t even realize there was a difference in portion size.

Portion Control Tips

With larger portions becoming the norm, what can you do to prevent weight gain?

• Avoid serving food family style at the dinner table.

• Use small dishware at home.

• At a restaurant, box up half your meal before picking up a fork.

Helpful Serving Sizes

When you don’t have measuring cups on hand, just use your hand.

• A Closed Fist (roughly 1 cup) is a serving of:





• Your Palm Size (roughly 3 oz.) is a serving of:




• An Open Handful (roughly 1 oz.) is a serving of:



• 2 Open Handfuls (roughly 1 oz.*) is a serving of:




• Your Thumb (roughly 1 oz.) is a serving of:

Nut butters


• Your Thumb Tip (roughly 1 tsp.) is a serving of:




*Snacks like chips and popcorn weigh less than nuts and dried fruit.


Sa ating panahon ngayon, marami na talaga ang nagbago. Pati na ang portion size ng ating pagkain ay malaki na rin ang pinagbago. Sana ay makatulong ang mga tips na narito upang maiwasan ang pagtaas ng timbang at pagtaba ng sobra sa kabila ng paglaki ng portion size na ating kinakain. 👍😊

(Photo and info from Google Images. Brought to you by: NorthShore University HealthSystem, The health experts at NorthShore University HealthSystem explore portion sizes and provide portion control tips to help you navigate your way to better health.)