Size really matter: When the food depends on the dish

One research shows that the portions on the table are decisive for the amount of the consumed food. According to the researches from the Cambridge University, the problem is more serious than it really looks. The research published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, has combined the results from other 61 studies of this theme, putting together totally 6.177 participants. It shows that if you decrease the size of the dishes, the packaging and the food, you would get a daily consumption from 12 to 16 percents lower than in Great Britain (with a corresponding reduction of 279 kcal) and from 22 to 29 percents in the United States (527 kcal).

The prices: The possible actions to reach these results, is to start with the selling prices to the public: with the promotion polices and discounts for large distribution, the difference between the large pack and the smaller pack is really low. In their report ‘Food policy, how the food industry influences nutrition and health’, the observatory Nestlè underlines the fact that the food factories are increasing the dimensions of the portion to beat in a simple way the competition, leaded by the principle that the consumers are attracted by the big portions because ‘there is no one to tell them not to do it’.

In the US: In a comment of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, the journalist and a medic Brian Wansink describes the distortion of the portions occurred in America from 1970 to 2000: and the jumbo-size in the restaurants is for 250% bigger than the regular one. These trends that have been transferred also in the homes: the extent of the dishes and the glasses, and even the tables, increased for 36% from the 1960. And to fill those dishes, the 2006 edition of Joy of Cooking (the best-seller for recipes in the USA) included the increased recipes for 62% compared to the same recipes of their first edition back in 1920.