Growing Portions Cause Obesity!

Retailers could be forced to charge more for bigger servings to counter damage being done, say Cambridge University experts





Larger sizes are threatening people’s health by encouraging them to overeat, according to experts from Cambridge University, including the government’s chief advisor on obesity.

In a warning about the dangers of overserving, the authors calculated that ridding bigger portions from our diet would make consumers reduce their energy intake from food by 16%, and thereby help fight against obesity.

The damage caused by overserving is so great that the government may have to limit how big servings can be or force retailers to charge much more for them in an attempt to reduce consumption, the authors said. 

Ian Shemilt, who led the research, said: “At the moment it is all too easy – and often better value for money – for us to eat and drink too much. The evidence is compelling now that actions which reduce the size, availability and appeal of large servings can make a difference to the amounts people eat and drink.”

Shemilt pointed to evidence collated by the British Heart Foundation in 2013 showing that curry ready meals had expanded by 50% in the previous 20 years, as had the number of crisps in a family bag. 

An individual shepherd’s pie ready meal grew by 98%, chicken pies were 40% bigger and a meat lasagne ready meal for one had increased by 39%. 

Food campaigners said the study, published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, showed the food industry had to do more to reduce the overconsumption of calories by limiting the size of its products. 

Malcom Clark, the co-ordinator of the Children’s Food Campaign, said: “Bigger plates, bigger packs, bigger portions, bigger us. It’s nudge theory, encouraging us – like so many other prevalent marketing tactics used by the food industry – to consume far more sugar, fat and calories than we ought to, and making it much easier to do so. 

“Initiatives such as limiting chocolate bar single-serve portion size to 250 calories are a start. To counter the huge rise of sharing sizes and snacking bags, especially those aimed at children and family consumption, the government needs to take a hard look in its childhood obesity strategy at how less healthy items are marketed and at what price.”

Downing Street policy officials are drawing up the new strategy, which David Cameron is expected to launch in November. There has been sustained criticismthat the Responsibility Deal approach adopted in 2010, involving voluntary agreements with the food industry, is not countering rising childhood obesity

The authors arrived at their conclusions after examining the results of 61 previous studies, involving 6,711 participants, looking at the influence of the size of portion, packaging and tableware on how much food people eat. They include Prof Susan Jebb, who advises ministers on food and nutrition policy. 

If British consumers could avoid outsized portions, they would cut the amount of energy they get every day from food by 12%-16%, or up to 279 calories, the authors said. If American adults did the same, they could reduce their intake by 22%-29%, or a maximum of 527 calories each daily. 

Prof Brian Ratcliffe, an emeritus professor of nutrition at Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, said: “This review provides evidence to support what might seem to be a self-evident truth, that serving larger portions leads to greater levels of consumption, and the effect seems to be more pronounced in adults than children.

“Presumably related to a lack of effective self-restraint, people seem to be reluctant to leave or waste food and so consume what they are served or find larger portions more attractive.” 

More restaurants and fast-food premises should follow the lead set by the few that already offer more than one portion size, he added. 

The Food and Drink Federation, which represents manufacturers, said in a statement that “this research once again confirms the complexity of tackling obesity and that multiple solutions are required, from considering the food we eat to the size of spoons we use to serve food.”

It said firms were providing clear nutritional information on the side of their products, including about portion sizes, and offering a range of portion sizes. 

Dr Alison Tedstone, the chief nutritionist at Public Health England, said: “This study clearly demonstrates that reducing portion sizes is a successful way to cut calories. Given that almost two-thirds of adults are overweight or obese, it’s important to keep an eye on portion sizes when cooking, shopping and eating out to avoid overeating and help maintain a healthy weight.”

Go Large?

4. Control Portion Sizes
In our super-sized food culture, portion sizes are out of control. Eating portions the size of your fist is a good start towards controlling your food intake. Measuring your food on scales is a great way to learn how to estimate portion sizes. Also, don’t feel like you always need to finish off all the food on your plate. Leave a couple of bites on your plate and you’ll learn self-control.
I give my clients easy tips to help judge the portion sizes of many foods- Meats, Cheese, Fruit, Veggies – all important to know if you don’t want to count calories!

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For Amy, Nibblers & Snackers

For Amy and everyone else that cant stick to their diet!! Nibblers and Snackers take note!

4 Key Strategies for Killing Food Cravings
adapted from an article by Chad Tackett

When you’re constantly hungry, it makes choosing the right foods
at the right times really challenging.

Staying full and energized while eating fewer calories—that’s the
secret to long-term fat loss success.

Here are 4 key strategies for feeling satisfied after a healthy meal
and staying full longer. You’ll not only have a lot more energy, you’ll
crave (and eat) less later. . .

1. Eat your water. Yes, eat. Drinking water is great, and you should throughout the day, but it doesn’t provide the same level of feeling satisfied as when you eat foods high in water.

There is a separate mechanism in the brain that controls hunger and thirst. If the food you eat contains water, it will stay in the stomach longer while it’s being digested.

PLUS, foods high in water are naturally very low in calories – making them ideal for fat loss.

Many fruits and vegetables contain 90 – 98 percent water! The following are some of the most hydrating foods. . .

– Watermelon contains 92% water and electrolytes, such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, and sodium – all of which (positively) influence your metabolism!

– Grapefruit contains only 30 calories and is comprised of 90%
water!

– Cucumbers are 96% water and contain just 14 calories in an entire cup!

– Cantaloupe is 89% water and contains only 27 calories per 1/2 cup!

– Strawberries contain just 23 calories per 1/2 cup and are made up of approximately 92% water. Plus, strawberries rank as the 4th strongest antioxidant-rich fruit!

– Broccoli contains 90% water and anti-cancer nutrients that help to detoxify the vast number of potential toxins that we encounter each day. Plus, it’s a great source of fibre!

You may have noticed that these water-dense foods are all carbs.
Because they’re natural (and not processed), I’d suggest the portion
being about the size of your fist. So, a small grapefruit or a cup of sliced strawberries, for example, would work well.

2. Fill up on fibre. Fibre is critical to fat loss in several ways: first, fibre contains only 1.5 to 2.5 calories per gram, while other carbs contain 4 calories per gram (fat contains 9 calories per gram I always estimate 10 cals/ g).
Essentially, you can pile your plate with plenty of high-fibre foods without worrying about caloric-overload.

In addition to being low-calorie, high-fibre foods are more filling.
Fibre is absorbed by our bodies more slowly than other foods, which means we feel full longer.

Foods high in fibre are fruits and vegetables, beans, lentils, legumes,
and natural whole grains. Aim for at least 25-35 grams each day to
help reduce your caloric intake and keep you feeling full and energised for longer.

3. Include protein at every meal. A meal with carbs alone causes blood sugar spikes and crashes, which leave you feeling tired, hungry,
and weak. Protein helps prevent this happening, so that the carbs you eat aren’t converted to body fat, and allows energy to be
released slowly.

Great protein sources are lean meats, fish, lowfat dairy, legumes,
and unprocessed soy products.

Your choice of protein should be approximately the size of your
palm. For example, a medium-sized chicken breast.

4. Don’t leave out healthy fat. Since fat is so calorie-dense, it’s important that you eat it in moderation . . . BUT in small amounts,
it provides flavour and has a positive impact on slowing insulin response, like protein.

My favorite healthy fat source are nuts and seeds because they are also a great source of protein and fibre. Other excellent fat
sources are avocados, olives, and fatty fish (e.g., wild salmon).

The fat source you choose should be about the size of your thumb. This is about 5 almonds for the average-sized woman or 7 almonds for the average man.

Put this into Action NOW – you know which foods keep you feeling full and satisfied throughout the day, here are some great ideas that combine them all together for one super fat-burning snack or
meal:

1. Stir in a little peanut butter (healthy fat) and protein powder
(protein) into oatmeal (fiber), topped with strawberries (water).

2. Dip cucumbers (water) in hummus (fiber and healthy fat) and
cottage cheese (protein).

3. Marinate broccoli (water and fiber) and boneless, skinless
chicken breast (protein) in a little olive oil (healthy fat) and
balsamic vinegar and wrap it in aluminum foil on the BBQ.

4. A bowl of Greek yogurt (protein) with pieces of watermelon
(water), topped with flaxseeds (fiber and healthy fat). I add protein powder to this too.

These are my tips for planning my meals so that I can stay focused on
my weight loss goals. I love seeing people take control of their health,
and I’m so happy to be able to be a part of that.

Like I said, staying full while eating fewer calories is the secret to success. Do that, and avoid the daily pitfalls, and you will succeed.

A few small,
easy changes in your daily routine will have profound, lasting effects
to reach your weight loss goals. End the self sabotaging now.

This information has worked for my clients and myself. If you want, it will work for you.

Follow me Twitter @jaxallenfitness for daily healthy tips.

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For more info and to join my fitness groups.