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(WTOP)   The secret to making Americans less fat? Secretly swap out their portion sizes and give them a different-colored plate   (wtop.com) divider line 138
    More: Interesting, Americans, swaps, Health Affairs, Tulane University, Chinese restaurant, Dan Ariely, Chinese food, sales promotions  
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9339 clicks; posted to Main » on 14 Feb 2012 at 11:36 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-02-14 08:52:00 AM
Or quit making starchy food the primary side dish of farking everything. It's crazy easy to cut down calories if you substitute potato/rice product for anything closely resembling a vegetable.
 
2012-02-14 10:59:40 AM
i420.photobucket.com
 
2012-02-14 11:02:38 AM
I think things would be better if people just took the time to actually chew their food. Almost every single extremely large person I know eats so quickly you'd think they were off to the gallows and each meal was their last. By the time their body is telling them they're full they've been slamming food into their mouths for 15 solid minutes.

Or force people to eat with chopsticks.
 
2012-02-14 11:26:44 AM
Smaller portions make you less fat? The hell you say!
 
2012-02-14 11:40:26 AM
You cut the portions in half I'll just eat 2 to make up for it. Unless I'm full I'm not gonna stop eating. Give me food that fills me up and has less calories.
 
2012-02-14 11:41:39 AM
I'm going to lunch at a Chinese buffet today until I'm almost sick.
 
2012-02-14 11:44:40 AM
I'll just super size it anyway.
 
2012-02-14 11:44:43 AM

thomps: [i420.photobucket.com image 500x356]


The problem with that food pyramid is that the grains and veggies sections should be flipped. There's no reason to eat 11 servings of grains a day. That'll make you fat. Fruits and veggies have far fewer calories per unit weight, and more trace nutrients.
 
2012-02-14 11:45:01 AM
So this only works on Americans? I hope other countries wise up... they're becoming girthier, too...
 
2012-02-14 11:45:30 AM

All_Farked_Up: Give me food that fills me up and has less calories.


That's the science behind MSG. Not only is it a table salt substitute but It makes you swell up and feel full. Chinese buffets figured that out a long time ago.
 
2012-02-14 11:45:39 AM

theorellior: thomps: [i420.photobucket.com image 500x356]

The problem with that food pyramid is that the grains and veggies sections should be flipped. There's no reason to eat 11 servings of grains a day. That'll make you fat. Fruits and veggies have far fewer calories per unit weight, and more trace nutrients.


then the pyramid on the left should be more impactful for you.
 
2012-02-14 11:45:49 AM
Eat less and excercise?
i1008.photobucket.com
 
2012-02-14 11:46:46 AM
Tell them Jesus will love them more if they're thin. Repeat that message on Fox news a few times and bam, thinner Americans.
 
2012-02-14 11:47:14 AM

theorellior: The problem with that food pyramid is that the grains and veggies sections should be flipped. There's no reason to eat 11 servings of grains a day. That'll make you fat. Fruits and veggies have far fewer calories per unit weight, and more trace nutrients.


Yup, pretty much. I really, really wish that change would be made. I really see no reason why vegetables (first) and fruits (second) shouldn't make up 90% of a diet. Besides the first day of intestinal "oh, in the name of all that is holy, what have I done?" distress, of course.
 
2012-02-14 11:47:17 AM

thomps: then the pyramid on the left should be more impactful for you.


Maybe, but it's hardly surprising. It would be interesting to imagine an alternate universe where the veggie and dairy subsidies were flipped.
 
2012-02-14 11:48:46 AM

All_Farked_Up: You cut the portions in half I'll just eat 2 to make up for it. Unless I'm full I'm not gonna stop eating. Give me food that fills me up and has less calories.


You know if you eat less your stomach will eventually naturally contract so that it takes less to feel full, right? Yeah, of course you do, fattie.
 
2012-02-14 11:48:47 AM
Eat right, get off your tail and move around more. Avoiding corn syrup helps.
 
2012-02-14 11:49:16 AM
Lately stuff has been swinging "big" again.

Look at the new Lay's bags. Why the hell would I want more potato chips in a bag for a picnic?
 
2012-02-14 11:50:03 AM

treesloth: Besides the first day of intestinal "oh, in the name of all that is holy, what have I done?" distress, of course.


The way most people eat, that adaptation period would be more like a month, as their digestive systems ramped up the production of enzymes they never needed to use before.
 
2012-02-14 11:51:36 AM
Classifying obesity as a disease is a good thing. Companies and health providers now have a mandate to treat it and reduce it. It's like smoking. It used to be a bad habit but around here it's treated as if you're trying to commit suicide. People are willing to commit resources to help you stop. Same goes for obesity. Telling people to just not be fat doesn't work. Subsidizing healthier food and gym memberships and education campaigns is what's going to solve the problem.
 
2012-02-14 11:51:39 AM

Lsherm: Or quit making starchy food the primary side dish of farking everything. It's crazy easy to cut down calories if you substitute potato/rice product for anything closely resembling a vegetable.


While I agree with the general sentiment, potatoes are farking awesome food and should not be ignored. Rice and noodles, I can do without.
 
2012-02-14 11:52:31 AM
In the 60s, the average American ate more calories, and less healthier foods, but were much healthier and slimmer overall. However, they also got off of their duff once in a while. Diet isn't unimportant, but lack of physical activity is the main culprit. Go out and burn some calories once in a while and you won't be so fat.
 
2012-02-14 11:53:14 AM
I work at a restaurant, and the chef's reason for making huge portions is that he doesn't want people to leave hungry...
Dude could cut costs so much if he didn't do that.
It's 'fine dining', people expect to pay extra for less.
 
2012-02-14 11:54:01 AM
Ludicrous portion size has been a gripe of mine for a long time now. Cut portions in half, charge half as much, problem solved. I do like that more places offer half-size things nowadays, but they still cost 3/4 the price, which annoys me.

Cooking for myself helps, but when traveling (such as for business), saving leftovers isn't very practical. Throwing food out is a mental block that's hard to get around, due to years of parental conditioning. Plus, its a needless waste that my own mental blocks frown upon.

First world problem, to be sure. But its a problem I've been facing for a long time.

/ signing up for 2012 Warrior Dash, NH, Sept 15
// training begins this Spring
 
2012-02-14 11:54:09 AM
People at a Chinese restaurant want less rice with their meal? Well, no shiat, Sherlock!
 
2012-02-14 11:54:20 AM
I love how they start with the "a third of people will take half at the same price", but the test is flawed on one basis, it's Chinese food, they always give too much. Go into the places that are really making people fact, you know fast food. See how many of the people would be willing to pay the same for less.
 
2012-02-14 11:55:04 AM

Brew78: Cut portions in half, charge half as much, problem solved.


restaurant pricing doesn't scale that way. there is a ton of overhead sitting on that plate.
 
2012-02-14 11:55:46 AM

All_Farked_Up: You cut the portions in half I'll just eat 2 to make up for it. Unless I'm full I'm not gonna stop eating. Give me food that fills me up and has less calories.


It takes time to feel full, if a "meal" is spending 15 minutes cramming food in your mouth until you can't eat any more then you're over eating. A big part of portion control is taking your time to eat a reasonable amount of food then getting more if you're still hungry. You shouldn't go into a food coma after every meal.
 
2012-02-14 11:56:37 AM

theorellior: treesloth: Besides the first day of intestinal "oh, in the name of all that is holy, what have I done?" distress, of course.

The way most people eat, that adaptation period would be more like a month, as their digestive systems ramped up the production of enzymes they never needed to use before.


As someone who recently has made an effort to change over to salads from french fries and other grease-heavy starches, I'm getting a kick (in the gut) out of this statement.
 
2012-02-14 11:57:39 AM

Voiceofreason01: All_Farked_Up: You cut the portions in half I'll just eat 2 to make up for it. Unless I'm full I'm not gonna stop eating. Give me food that fills me up and has less calories.

It takes time to feel full, if a "meal" is spending 15 minutes cramming food in your mouth until you can't eat any more then you're over eating. A big part of portion control is taking your time to eat a reasonable amount of food then getting more if you're still hungry. You shouldn't go into a food coma after every meal.


that's why, more and more, i love the idea of small plates. you get a ton of variety in your meal, and the spaced-out flow of the dishes gives you time to enjoy the experience, digest, and get full.
 
2012-02-14 11:58:53 AM

Voiceofreason01: All_Farked_Up: You cut the portions in half I'll just eat 2 to make up for it. Unless I'm full I'm not gonna stop eating. Give me food that fills me up and has less calories.

It takes time to feel full, if a "meal" is spending 15 minutes cramming food in your mouth until you can't eat any more then you're over eating. A big part of portion control is taking your time to eat a reasonable amount of food then getting more if you're still hungry. You shouldn't go into a food coma after every meal.


I go into an afternoon coma daily. Probably bad for me but I skip breakfast and stuff myself at lunch. I often skip supper too. I'm not fat at all but my diet isn't healthy.
 
2012-02-14 11:59:15 AM
Mr. Janus suggested to a coworker looking for suggestions to help her family (including kids) lose weight. He suggested chucking the dinner plate and making dinner on lunch plates.

You would have thought he tazed her. She started spluttering that her family "would never put up with that." He tried to explain that the size of the plate is an unconscious cue to eat whatever is on it, and if the plate is smaller, people would eat less. Has she, for instance, ever seen a dinner set from the 1950s? Much smaller.

She didn't buy it and kept complaining that her family would never allow her to do that.

I'm convinced half the problem is that people just don't want to change, even if that change is relatively painless.
 
2012-02-14 11:59:40 AM
Make the plate smaller too.

Correlation doesn't equal causation, but I read something a while back (god i hope it wasn't an unlabeled Onion article), that said the average plate size has increased from 8" to 10", and that since we can place more food on the larger plate, we eat more.
 
2012-02-14 11:59:46 AM
Eat more protein and real fat (partially dehydrogenated anything need not apply)

Eat only as many carbohydrates as you need to fuel your activities (marathoners need more than couch potatoes)

Of those carbs, substitute grains with veggies, fruits and some starches (sweet potatoes, yams, rice/white potatoes on occasion...again, only if you're active enough to require them)

Boom, problem solved.

Or, you can keep stuffing your face with calorically-dense, nutritionally deficient foods and expect Michelle Obama to save you and your chillens...best of luck with that....
 
2012-02-14 12:00:23 PM
This caught my eye:

"This undated two-picture combo provided by Aline Michelle Grüneisen, Lab Manager, Center for Advanced Hindsight, Duke University..."

Center for Advanced Hindsight? Is it staffed by people who always make bad decisions, and then quickly realize how bad that decision was?
 
2012-02-14 12:00:33 PM

Russ1642: Voiceofreason01: All_Farked_Up: You cut the portions in half I'll just eat 2 to make up for it. Unless I'm full I'm not gonna stop eating. Give me food that fills me up and has less calories.

It takes time to feel full, if a "meal" is spending 15 minutes cramming food in your mouth until you can't eat any more then you're over eating. A big part of portion control is taking your time to eat a reasonable amount of food then getting more if you're still hungry. You shouldn't go into a food coma after every meal.

I go into an afternoon coma daily. Probably bad for me but I skip breakfast and stuff myself at lunch. I often skip supper too. I'm not fat at all but my diet isn't healthy.


Don't skip breakfast -- in fact, try eating a small meal every 3 hours. Have your carbs in the morning, and increase fiber (veggies) and protein later in the day.
 
2012-02-14 12:00:49 PM

theorellior: treesloth: Besides the first day of intestinal "oh, in the name of all that is holy, what have I done?" distress, of course.

The way most people eat, that adaptation period would be more like a month, as their digestive systems ramped up the production of enzymes they never needed to use before.


Yikes, really? I've always had a pretty diverse diet, so maybe my adaptation was shorter when I starting being more disciplined and switched to almost all fruits and vegetables. Wow... can't imagine a month of that, and probably more intense than I had...
 
2012-02-14 12:01:00 PM

spiralscratch: As someone who recently has made an effort to change over to salads from french fries and other grease-heavy starches, I'm getting a kick (in the gut) out of this statement.


When my wife and I made the transition to maximize the amount of produce we were eating, from a health and also cost basis, it took about six weeks of amazing gas production for my intestines to finally balance out. It was never very uncomfortable, just windy. ; )
 
2012-02-14 12:01:11 PM

tjsands1118: I love how they start with the "a third of people will take half at the same price", but the test is flawed on one basis, it's Chinese food, they always give too much. Go into the places that are really making people fact, you know fast food. See how many of the people would be willing to pay the same for less.


You'd be surprised where the calories actually come from in your diet. Take a week and do actual calorie counting. It's usually sides at home (Any time you add potatoes to a meal the calories ramp up fast.).
 
2012-02-14 12:01:35 PM
Cook your own food. Soups are particularly great - cheap, incredibly difficult to fark up, easy to incorporate just about any nutritive content you can imagine, can be made in bulk, last a long time, and they work for just about any meal.

Soup.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2012-02-14 12:01:59 PM
theorellior

The problem with the food pyramid is it's the end result of years of lobbying by people who want you to buy their stuff and other people who want to tell you what to eat. Somewhere in the middle, hidden under layers of public relations staff, department lawyers, and the Senator's chair-warming nephew, is a nutritionist. Unless he lost his job in the last budget cut.
 
2012-02-14 12:02:30 PM

theorellior: thomps: [i420.photobucket.com image 500x356]

The problem with that food pyramid is that the grains and veggies sections should be flipped. There's no reason to eat 11 servings of grains a day. That'll make you fat. Fruits and veggies have far fewer calories per unit weight, and more trace nutrients.


Stupid. What do you want us to call it? The "food column"? If we made the grains more reasonable and based our food recommendations on human physiology rather than Washington lobbyists, what exactly do you think would hold the graphic up? I mean, it sounds like you expect our recommendations to be in some way beneficial to something other than our dividends. Besides, look at how pretty and structural the pyramid is. I actually serve myself food and mash it into a pyramid before eating it just to make sure that I am getting the right amounts of everything.

If we weren't supposed to eat like this, why is it that our bodies allow for such plasticity in maximum weight? Do you WANT to be a bag of antlers?

/Works with one of the cited academics
\Sarcasm dripping as much as my mouth when someone mentioned a Big Mac
 
2012-02-14 12:03:04 PM

Brew78: Ludicrous portion size has been a gripe of mine for a long time now. Cut portions in half, charge half as much, problem solved. I do like that more places offer half-size things nowadays, but they still cost 3/4 the price, which annoys me.

Cooking for myself helps, but when traveling (such as for business), saving leftovers isn't very practical. Throwing food out is a mental block that's hard to get around, due to years of parental conditioning. Plus, its a needless waste that my own mental blocks frown upon.

First world problem, to be sure. But its a problem I've been facing for a long time.

/ signing up for 2012 Warrior Dash, NH, Sept 15
// training begins this Spring


Good Luck, and have fun. Those races are a nice change of pace from miles on a treadmill/flat ground.

I will share a tip that I wish somebody had told me before I ran that race this past year - Bring along a couple of filled water jugs and some old towels to help with cleanup afterwards. At least for the one here in Illinois the cleanup was one guy with a firehose, spraying you in the eye then telling you to move along (which is hard when you're being sprayed in the face with a firehose).

Muddy legs not only mess up your car, but the sudden removal of all leg hair when you stand up after the mud has dried can be a bit startling.
 
2012-02-14 12:03:55 PM

tjsands1118: I love how they start with the "a third of people will take half at the same price", but the test is flawed on one basis, it's Chinese food, they always give too much. Go into the places that are really making people fact, you know fast food. See how many of the people would be willing to pay the same for less.


Exactly. Try that same experiment at McDonald's and ask people if they want to eliminate 250 calories by cutting their large order of french fries in half.

i1080.photobucket.com
 
2012-02-14 12:04:27 PM
How about putting stationary bicycles like the ones at the gym in every home, but make them power generators, then make computers and televisions run only on the power generated?


Oh yeah, they'd just hire illegals to do the pedaling.



Another great idea.
Down in flames.
Tuesday.
 
2012-02-14 12:05:15 PM

Allsardane: I actually serve myself food and mash it into a pyramid before eating it just to make sure that I am getting the right amounts of everything.


youoffendmeyouoffendmyfamily.com

Approves.
 
2012-02-14 12:06:14 PM
Yeah, your fat bacause of the rice.
 
2012-02-14 12:09:31 PM

Degenerate Monkey: Cook your own food. Soups are particularly great - cheap, incredibly difficult to fark up, easy to incorporate just about any nutritive content you can imagine, can be made in bulk, last a long time, and they work for just about any meal.

Soup.


I think the imperviousness of soup to really being screwed up has really helped me. I keep lots and lots of caselot sale Progresso and similar vegetable soup around. I got a couple of the little Costco buckets of dried shiatake (I wonder if the filter will clobber that?) mushrooms. Finally, I chop up a big tub of leafy vegetables about once a week-- kale, cabbage, spinach, chard, etc. A couple of cans of soup in the pot, heat it to just boiling, add some mushrooms, turn off the heat and start putting in vegetables until no more can be "absorbed". Tastes good and has a ridiculously high nutrients-to-calories ratio. It comes out at about 500 calories, which is low for a complete dinner.
 
2012-02-14 12:09:42 PM

Janusdog: Russ1642: Voiceofreason01: All_Farked_Up: You cut the portions in half I'll just eat 2 to make up for it. Unless I'm full I'm not gonna stop eating. Give me food that fills me up and has less calories.

It takes time to feel full, if a "meal" is spending 15 minutes cramming food in your mouth until you can't eat any more then you're over eating. A big part of portion control is taking your time to eat a reasonable amount of food then getting more if you're still hungry. You shouldn't go into a food coma after every meal.

I go into an afternoon coma daily. Probably bad for me but I skip breakfast and stuff myself at lunch. I often skip supper too. I'm not fat at all but my diet isn't healthy.

Don't skip breakfast -- in fact, try eating a small meal every 3 hours. Have your carbs in the morning, and increase fiber (veggies) and protein later in the day.


I'm too tired for breakfast. I'm also too lazy to plan my meals out, or maybe that's just the remnants of the post lunch coma. So what should I have for lunch? I usually get ten McNuggets and large fries, no drink.

/if you say salad I'll track you down and set your cat on fire
 
2012-02-14 12:10:04 PM

meat0918: Make the plate smaller too.

Correlation doesn't equal causation, but I read something a while back (god i hope it wasn't an unlabeled Onion article), that said the average plate size has increased from 8" to 10", and that since we can place more food on the larger plate, we eat more.

Depends on if you are looking at "in home" or "in restaurant" plate sizes. Restaurants currently are serving upwards of 12" plates while size of dinner plate purchased at stores like Bed, Bath, and Beyond are in the 10-12" range.

Creates a bit of an issue in homes build pre-1970 as the cabinets are generally only 10-11" deep (and can't fit some modern plate sizes). Going to a pawn shop and looking at the dinner plates of our grandparents (around 7-8") is a good means of fact checking.
 
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