BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - What do you think of as a "small" drink? Is it eight-, 12- or 16-ounces? Those three sizes of drinks could all be called "regular" size, depending on where you get them. And the size label influences how much you'll eat or drink.
As a population, its clear that we've been eating too much, and some believe that's partly because portions are bigger than they should be. That's one reason New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg tried to reduce the amount of sugar-containing soda that restaurants could serve.
"For the first time in the history of the world more people will die of overeating than under-eating this year," Bloomberg stated.
At Bob & John's restaurant on Hertel Avenue, the servings are generous. And that's fine with many of the customers. But what if you knew it was too much?
Colin Overdorf said, "I'd probably take some home and save it for later."
Scientists at Cornell served 45 diners spaghetti for lunch. For some, the small container was called "half size," and the large was called "regular." For others, the small container was called "regular," and the large was called "double size."
People who were given a large container called "regular" were likely to finish it, while people who were given the identical container labeled "double size" had a large amount of leftovers.
Of course, sometimes, even without a label, you know its a lot of food.
"I'm going to have to take some home!" Overdorf beamed.
In other words, if you're told a portion is regular size, you'll think of it as sufficient and it will likely be enough for you. So if portion sizes are shrunk to what they should be, it would help people lose weight.
Here's an example: If you have one less handful of potato chips a day and drunk an eight-ounce soda instead of a 16-ounce serving, you'll save 200 calories a day and lose 20 pounds in a year.
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