Serving-Size Nonsense

      144 Comments on Serving-Size Nonsense

One of the many failed diet strategies I tried back in the day was serving myself portion-controlled meals.  I’d nuke a Healthy Choice dinner, or a Weight Watchers Smart Ones dinner, or a Lean Cuisine dinner, etc., and then try to convince myself I was satisfied after eating it.

Then I’d get hungry a couple of hours later and nuke another one … or two.

If you’d tried to lose weight by simply eating less of the same foods that made you fat in the first place, you know what happens:  you end up in a raging battle with your appetite.  You may hold out for awhile, but eventually your appetite wins.  It’s supposed to win.  That’s how Nature wired you.

The anti-obesity crusaders can’t get that through their heads.  They seem to believe obese people are like automatons who just consume whatever’s in front of them, with appetite having little do with it.  Just serve those fat people smaller portions, by gosh, and they’ll eat less and lose weight.

Sorry, but that’s like suggesting that if we ordered Phillip Morris and R.J. Reynolds to sell cigarettes in packs of 15 instead of 20, people would smoke less.   No, they wouldn’t.  They’d just buy more packs.

When Hizzoner in New York wanted to ban large soda cups, I wrote that people would just buy more sodas.  A study reported in the Los Angeles Times came to the same conclusion:

After New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg unveiled his plan to ban the sale of sodas larger than 16 ounces, comedian Jon Stewart complained that the proposal “combines the draconian government overreach people love with the probable lack of results they expect.”

It turns out the “Daily Show” host was on to something.

New research shows that prompting beverage makers to sell sodas in smaller packages and bundle them as a single unit actually encourages consumers to buy more soda — and gulp down more calories — than they would have consumed without the ban.

Well, I don’t know if they’ll consume more over time, but I sincerely doubt they’ll consume less.

Not only would thirsty people drink more, but circumventing the big-drink ban by offering consumers bundles of smaller drinks also would mean more revenue for the beverage purveyors, according to a study published Wednesday in the journal PLOS ONE. The sales boost would probably offset the added cost of producing more cups, lids and straws to hold those extra drinks, the researchers found.

The results reveal “a potential unintended consequence that may need to be considered in future policymaking,” wrote the study authors, psychologists from UC San Diego.

Okay, two quick points:  1) There are ALWAYS be unintended consequences when policymakers decide how other people should live, and 2) the lesson that future policymakers need to learn is that they should stop making policies.

The findings come a month after a New York judge struck down a bid by New York City’s health department to halt the sale of super-sized soft drinks at restaurants, movie theaters and sports venues across the city, calling the proposed measure “arbitrary and capricious.”

The effort’s legal failure sparked a round of soul-searching by public health officials, whose anti-obesity efforts have focused heavily on reducing Americans’ consumption of soft drinks and other sweetened beverages laden with sugar and calories.

Soul-searching by public health officials?  I doubt that happened.  If it did, neighbors would have reported hearing screams of “Oh my god, I have the soul of a fascist!”

On to the study …

The researchers recruited 100 undergraduate students at UC San Diego and set up a mock concession stand offering popcorn, pizza and an array of beverage choices packaged in single-serving cups and in bundles of cups.

In one setup, the researchers offered a full-service menu with 16-ounce, 24-ounce and 32-ounce drinks for $1.59, $1.79 and $1.99, respectively. In another, students could buy a single 16-ounce soda for $1.59, two 12-ounce sodas for $1.79, or two 16-ounce sodas for $1.99. There was also a “no-bundle” menu, offering only a 16-ounce drink for $1.59.

When ordering off the bundled menu, the subjects bought more ounces of soda than in either of the other two cases. They were also less likely to skip a drink when bundles were available — only 16% made that choice, compared with 21% who opted to go beverage-free when faced with the full-service menu and 38% who did so when the only option was the 16-ounce drink.

In other words, faced with a size restriction, the students bought more servings.

Another study purported to show that serving food on smaller plates could reduce childhood obesity:

Smaller plates, fewer calories? The latest study shows one way to fight childhood obesity may be to shrink the size of the dinner plate.

According research published in the journal Pediatrics, first-graders served themselves more and downed more calories when they used a large plate instead of a smaller one.

Simply advising parents — and kids — to eat less and exercise more hasn’t turned the childhood obesity epidemic around.

So let me get this straight:  advising people to eat less and move more doesn’t work … but if we give them smaller plates, they’ll eat less and then that will work?  We’re back to the automaton theory.  Apparently the millions and millions of frustrated dieters in the world never had the good sense to just use smaller plates.  Sure, they were trying to count calories and all that, but when they pulled a big ol’ plate out of the cupboard, they were unconsciously driven to fill it up and then ate too much.

With one in three U.S. kids now defined as overweight or obese, researchers at Temple University decided to study how effective shrinking plate sizes could be in keeping appetites in check.

A smaller plate reduces your appetite?! A piece of plastic or china somehow changes one of your most basic biochemical drives?

Head.  Bang.  On.  Desk.

On half the days, the kids used plates that were 7 ¼ inches in diameter — about the size of a salad plate — and on the other days they were provided with dishes the size of a dinner plate at 10 ¼-inches in diameter. Their plates were weighed before and after they ate.

The kids served themselves 90 calories more on days when they used bigger dishes; they ended up consuming about half those calories and leaving the rest uneaten, which was still more than what they ate on days they used the smaller plates. “Studies show that when kids serve themselves more, they are going to eat more,” says Fisher, the study’s lead author.

Okay, so here’s what we’ve got:  when kids were given bigger plates, they served themselves an extra 90 calories – but then consumed only half of the extra calories.  That’s a whopping 45-calorie difference.  Hail, hail, the witch is dead, the childhood obesity epidemic has been solved!  Does anyone really think those kids’ metabolisms aren’t capable of adjusting up or down to cancel out a 45-calorie difference?

When kids put more food on the plate but then don’t eat it all, that tells me that they’re eating to match their appetites — exactly what I’d expect to happen.  As I’ve mentioned before, on most nights my girls walk away from the dinner table with food still left on their (large) plates.   On other nights, they’ll ask for seconds.  Sometimes they eat a little dinner, go do their homework, then ask for a snack – which we give them.  We don’t worry about how much they eat because their appetites are naturally controlled by the type of foods we serve them.

The point is, losing weight isn’t about plate size, cup size, or portion size.  It’s about fixing the hormonal drive to accumulate fat, which in turns ramps up appetite.   If your fat cells are sucking up a disproportionate number of calories and hanging onto them, you’re going to get hungry and you’re going to eat more – even if you eat from a teensy little plate.

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144 thoughts on “Serving-Size Nonsense

  1. johnny

    Knowing how government operates I predict that after the smaller plates for kids failure the government will introduce the following: Reduce kid’s plates to coffee cup plates. If it doesn’t work, reduce them to expresso coffee cup plates.

    Reply
  2. Josh

    About two years ago, my mother-in-law had lap-band surgery. She lost a lot of weight. Since then, her portion sizes have been quite small, and I seriously doubt that she eats much in between meals. On her recent visit to our house, I noticed that she has been putting on weight again. Her portion sizes are about the same (after all, her stomach is probably still a fraction of its normal size). That got me thinking about 2 other people that I know who have had lap-band, and they regained their weight within a couple of years. Do you know of any studies that have looked at the long term effectiveness of lap-band? From what I have seen, it seems to go along with what is being said here, portion control is not a long term solution.

    Regaining weight is a common problem:

    http://link.springer.com/article/10.1381/096089202321144649

    http://link.springer.com/article/10.1381/096089206777822359

    Reply
    1. Walter Bushell

      And even the successes need more medical care and they have to go on a low carb diet, because that is the only way to get sufficient nutrition in the small quantity of food they can eat.

      So why not low carb first, but that would be heresy and deprive all those hard working surgeons of their jobs.

      Ah, bariatric surgery an ideal job, totally elective surgery, 3AM phone calls and surgery at you convenience.

      Reply
  3. Liz

    As someone who can’t tolerate lactose, gluten, wheat, soy, oats, or (gulp) alcohol, I got fed up and started eating corn products, three times last week. Guess what? Belly is bloated and swollen. Underneath the soft subcutaneous fat is a rounded, hard abdomen. Definitely not in my head. I guess I have to add corn to my list of no-no’s. It’ll take me over a week for the swelling to go down.

    Hmm, corn, soy, wheat, oats…same stuff that fattens up cattle! Why should I be surprised at my own bloated self?!

    Reply
  4. johnny

    Knowing how government operates I predict that after the smaller plates for kids failure the government will introduce the following: Reduce kid’s plates to coffee cup plates. If it doesn’t work, reduce them to expresso coffee cup plates.

    Reply
  5. Josh

    About two years ago, my mother-in-law had lap-band surgery. She lost a lot of weight. Since then, her portion sizes have been quite small, and I seriously doubt that she eats much in between meals. On her recent visit to our house, I noticed that she has been putting on weight again. Her portion sizes are about the same (after all, her stomach is probably still a fraction of its normal size). That got me thinking about 2 other people that I know who have had lap-band, and they regained their weight within a couple of years. Do you know of any studies that have looked at the long term effectiveness of lap-band? From what I have seen, it seems to go along with what is being said here, portion control is not a long term solution.

    Regaining weight is a common problem:

    http://link.springer.com/article/10.1381/096089202321144649

    http://link.springer.com/article/10.1381/096089206777822359

    Reply
    1. Walter Bushell

      And even the successes need more medical care and they have to go on a low carb diet, because that is the only way to get sufficient nutrition in the small quantity of food they can eat.

      So why not low carb first, but that would be heresy and deprive all those hard working surgeons of their jobs.

      Ah, bariatric surgery an ideal job, totally elective surgery, 3AM phone calls and surgery at you convenience.

      Reply
  6. Liz

    As someone who can’t tolerate lactose, gluten, wheat, soy, oats, or (gulp) alcohol, I got fed up and started eating corn products, three times last week. Guess what? Belly is bloated and swollen. Underneath the soft subcutaneous fat is a rounded, hard abdomen. Definitely not in my head. I guess I have to add corn to my list of no-no’s. It’ll take me over a week for the swelling to go down.

    Hmm, corn, soy, wheat, oats…same stuff that fattens up cattle! Why should I be surprised at my own bloated self?!

    Reply
  7. The Older Brother

    It would be more accurate to call it the “Law of Unknowable Consequences.”

    “Unintended” sounds catchier, but to the uninitiated could be interpreted to imply that if only they had smarter people, or bigger computers, or another billion dollars, those consequences could’ve been accurately predicted and adjusted for; that there is actually, as Tom W’s comment seems to imply, a “correct” answer, but the bureaucrats just screwed up and got it wrong.

    @Pierson
    Sorry, friend, but the way you can tell someone is in fact a bleeding heart is when they appeal to “pragmatism.”

    Cheers!

    Reply
    1. Walter Bushell

      The thing is many if not all the “unintended” consequences were quite predictable by people of average intelligence.

      Come on, for example, requiring health insurance for full time workers leading to more employers going to more part time workers is not such a leap of logic as to be unpredictable. Or a ban on large sodas leading to people drinking more either. Perhaps theaters could have a store next door that sells 2 liter bottles of soda and charge a corkage fee.

      Those are examples of consequences we could predict, yes. But there are many we can’t.

      Reply
    2. Pierson

      I do support the EPA wholeheartedly, but I’m not too keen on (too much) government control either. Nevertheless, I do think that offering to help people to help themselves is always preferable to laze-faire anything, so long as the offers are completely fair and voluntary, and there’s no shady motivations

      Fair and voluntary IS laissez faire.

      I also suspect that if you knew some of what the EPA was up to, you wouldn’t support them wholeheartedly.

      Reply
  8. David

    I remember this friend of mine whose mom still to this day is obsessed with everything to be low calorie and fat could only find Weight Watcher brand frozen meals. She would add cheese to make it better and mom got mad saying “cheese is fattening!” And with me explaining you need fat for fuel and health maintenance, she said “if only I had the metabolism of a teenager to young adult” and I just ended up shaking my head but it was a laughable response. Just like the same about this lady who fears eating cashews.

    Reply
  9. CeeBee

    Here’s what I’m wondering: Why, if the government is so concerned about our health, are they not going after the food companies that add MSG to EVERYTHING.
    After all, isn’t MSG an excitotoxin which can potentially harm the entire endocrine system? There is no telling how much MSG children are consuming over the course of a week. What long term effect is that going to have on their health? Does anybody know, or care?

    Reply
    1. Walter Bushell

      And, of course, MSG is a big source of non-food reward. It’s addicting, like wheat, but more concentrated.

      Reply
  10. Lori

    Oh, Tom. Don’t you know that when people get divorced around age 35 or so, they run out and buy new dishes, and all the dishes out there are really big now, so they put more food on their plate and overeat. And of course when people get married, they start eating off of real dishes (large now) instead of flimsy little paper plates that single people all eat off of. That’s why married people and middle-aged people are heaver. Single people are thinner because you can’t put very much food on a paper plate. Or they go to coffee shops and drink coffee.

    Kidding aside, I do think that itty-bitty juice glasses are a good idea if you’re going to drink juice. It’s liquid sugar, and for some of us, a big glass of juice is going to bring on hunger an hour later.

    I agree on that, but soda addicts tend to drink the same quantity of the stuff over the course of a day whether they drink from big glasses or little glasses.

    Reply
  11. The Older Brother

    It would be more accurate to call it the “Law of Unknowable Consequences.”

    “Unintended” sounds catchier, but to the uninitiated could be interpreted to imply that if only they had smarter people, or bigger computers, or another billion dollars, those consequences could’ve been accurately predicted and adjusted for; that there is actually, as Tom W’s comment seems to imply, a “correct” answer, but the bureaucrats just screwed up and got it wrong.

    @Pierson
    Sorry, friend, but the way you can tell someone is in fact a bleeding heart is when they appeal to “pragmatism.”

    Cheers!

    Reply
    1. Walter Bushell

      The thing is many if not all the “unintended” consequences were quite predictable by people of average intelligence.

      Come on, for example, requiring health insurance for full time workers leading to more employers going to more part time workers is not such a leap of logic as to be unpredictable. Or a ban on large sodas leading to people drinking more either. Perhaps theaters could have a store next door that sells 2 liter bottles of soda and charge a corkage fee.

      Those are examples of consequences we could predict, yes. But there are many we can’t.

      Reply
    2. Pierson

      I do support the EPA wholeheartedly, but I’m not too keen on (too much) government control either. Nevertheless, I do think that offering to help people to help themselves is always preferable to laze-faire anything, so long as the offers are completely fair and voluntary, and there’s no shady motivations

      Fair and voluntary IS laissez faire.

      I also suspect that if you knew some of what the EPA was up to, you wouldn’t support them wholeheartedly.

      Reply
      1. Pierson

        I thought that laissez faire meant no government help of any kind, period. I guess I was mistaken

        Also, what do you mean about the EPA? I am a bit of a nature buff, so if they’re doing anything which has the effect of hurting wildlife, I really would like to know what it is. Do you have any links, books, etc?

        It’s a matter of terminology. You wrote about “fair and voluntary.” There’s no such thing as “voluntary” when government is involved. Every law, every regulation, no matter how nicey-nicey it is, no matter whether or not we agree with its purpose, is enforced UNDER THREAT OF VIOLENCE. If you don’t believe that, violate some regulation and inform your government officials. When they send you a notice you’ve been fined, write back and tell them you don’t agree with the regulation, so piss off. Then ignore their ensuing demands. At the end of the chain of events, armed men show up at your door.

        As for the EPA, here is a typical (and true) action I sincerely hope you wouldn’t support:

        A couple buys a big and expensive chunk of land to build their dream home. As construction on that home is just getting started, a state-owned dam breaks and their land is flooded. The couple calls the state and is told the state can’t fix the dam, better call the feds. They call the feds, end up talking to the EPA, and are told their land is now a “wetland” and they cannot re-build the dam (even if they’re willing to pay for it themselves) and cannot attempt to drain the land. If they do, they’ll be fined $30,000 per day and ordered to reflood it. The couple now has to make their mortgage payments on the land, but can’t build on it. Since they can’t build a home on it, they can’t sell their existing home and must continue to make payments on it as well. The government has essentially confiscated their land for “wetland” use (never mind that it only became a “wetland” when a state-owned dam broke), but doesn’t give them a dime in exchange. Unable to make both sets of payments, they eventually declare bankruptcy.

        @#$% like that happens all the time. The EPA has gone rogue and is run by bullies who have no regard for what they do to mere humans — it’s all about the wetlands and the snail darters, you see.

        Reply
        1. Thorn

          This sounds like one your typical Tea Party / Neo Libertarian paranoid fantasies. Link to this story, Tom, or I’ll just assume you made it up.

          The Koch brothers are a lot more responsible for grinding this country into the ground than the EPA.

          You do know Nixon founded the EPA, right?

          No, it couldn’t be true, could it? No, our noble EPA would never engage in such behavior. Government people are GOOOOOD!! — especially any government people who claim to be protecting the environment. (Now who’s engaging in fantasies?)

          Read about and watch your do-gooder EPA in action:

          http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2012-03-21/politics/35448416_1_chantell-sackett-epa-issues-idaho-couple
          http://m.spokesman.com/stories/2011/dec/06/property-owners-tangle-with-epa-over-wetland/
          http://www.cato.org/blog/louisiana-man-wins-17-million-epa-malicious-prosecution
          http://news.heartland.org/newspaper-article/1998/06/01/epa-charged-widespread-abuse-power

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6PGBIml1pKw
          http://epaabuse.com/10540/videos/epa-goes-rogue-6000-new-regs-impacting-private-property/
          http://www.examiner.com/article/epa-set-to-regulate-ditches-and-gullies-on-private-property
          http://reason.com/archives/2013/01/09/the-epa-pushes-the-envelope-again

          Correction: it wasn’t a broken dam. It was a jammed-up bridge that flooded the couple’s land.

          Yes, the EPA was founded by Nixon, and protecting the environment against pollution was a bi-partisan movement back in the day. We didn’t have a left-right split on the EPA until it became a rogue agency populated by statists who have no respect for property rights.

          Reply
          1. Thorn

            Ah, the Cato institute. That completely impartial ‘libertarian think-tank’ that’s funded and controlled by the Koch brothers.

            Good to see your ‘news’ sources are without bias or hidden agendas.

            I’ll rip apart the rest of your links as my work schedule permits, but I can’t let that one slip by unnoticed.

            I see you’re engaging in the same rhetorical nonsense as my liberal pal Paul on my other blog: if a story you don’t like is only reported in conservative media, then you dismiss it by saying it only appeared in conservative media. How convenient … if the (left-wing) major media choose not to run stories that don’t support their (left-wing) agenda, you get to say those stories aren’t real because the NY Times didn’t report on them.

            If you Google “Sackett case Supreme Court,” you find more references than you can count, from all kinds of media sources, on a similar case. In that case, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the EPA ran roughshod over a couple’s property rights — one of the few cases where Ruth Ginsberg and Antonin Scalia were on the same side. That means even the justices who ruled that it’s okay for a city force homeowners out of their homes to make room for a private shopping mall thought the EPA trampled on property rights in this case. It takes pretty egregious behavior by a government agency to get a bitch-slapping from the entire Supreme Court.

            I don’t expect you to agree with the Cato Institute, or John Stossel, or any other conservative/libertarian commentators, but to claim they’re just making up news stories smacks of desperation on your part. Here’s our exchange so far:

            1. No, no, no, the fine folks at the EPA would NEVER do that! Show me your sources or I’ll assume you’re lying.
            2. Okay, here are several sources.
            3. Well, ya know, the Cato Institute is funded by the Koch brothers, so they probably just made up the whole story.

            Conclusion: you’re still the same moron.

            The EPA has attempted to essentially confiscate the use of private land for their goals. It’s a fact. Deal with it instead of acting like a child and pretending it didn’t happen just because you’ve decided ahead of time the EPA is populated by good people.

            Reply
        2. Pierson

          Yikes! Regarding the EPA thing, was their decision because of an ‘act of God’ type clause? I ask because I remember when I was living in Florida (as a child), an endangered species of gecko (I think) was living on our yard, and we didn’t know about this until a storm had caused part of a neighbors tree to fall. We weren’t allowed to clean it up because of the said geckos, and the tree issue was considered an ‘act of God’, so the neighbor didn’t have to pay. Such things really are quite a headache, so that should be looked at.

          The EPA doesn’t care if it’s an act of God or not. If they believe if your private land is (or even could be) a habitat for a species they consider endangered, they’ll order you to leave it as is. In one of the Stossel episodes I linked, we heard from a guy who bought land to develop and then was ordered not to build on it because it COULD BE a potential habitat for a species of frog that hasn’t been spotted anywhere in his state.

          As far as I’m concerned, if the federal government wants you land to be a permanent wetland or a species habitat, they should either buy it from you or rent it at the market rate — not just order you to put your land to their purposes.

          Reply
          1. Pierson

            Well in that case, no, I don’t support that aspect of the EPA at all. Really, as keen as I am on protecting all species (darters and frogs included), I think there’s a difference between ‘civic duty’ and ‘outright theft’, especially in the case of impossible laws and hidden regulations.

            Glad to see you’re a reasonable man. Unfortunately, some people equate protecting the environment with blindly supporting the EPA. If the EPA wants to turn my land into a wildlife sanctuary, they can buy it, not hijack it.

            Reply
  12. David

    I remember this friend of mine whose mom still to this day is obsessed with everything to be low calorie and fat could only find Weight Watcher brand frozen meals. She would add cheese to make it better and mom got mad saying “cheese is fattening!” And with me explaining you need fat for fuel and health maintenance, she said “if only I had the metabolism of a teenager to young adult” and I just ended up shaking my head but it was a laughable response. Just like the same about this lady who fears eating cashews.

    Reply
  13. Dan

    I wish government would stay away from telling people what, and how, to eat. Denmark have recently brought in sugar and fat taxes, and obviously this is with good intentions, but there is just not enough evidence that fat is bad for you to tax it. And for that reason sugar should be left alone too because potentially we could be wrong there too.

    Didn’t Denmark repeal its fat tax?

    Reply
  14. CeeBee

    Here’s what I’m wondering: Why, if the government is so concerned about our health, are they not going after the food companies that add MSG to EVERYTHING.
    After all, isn’t MSG an excitotoxin which can potentially harm the entire endocrine system? There is no telling how much MSG children are consuming over the course of a week. What long term effect is that going to have on their health? Does anybody know, or care?

    Reply
    1. Walter Bushell

      And, of course, MSG is a big source of non-food reward. It’s addicting, like wheat, but more concentrated.

      Reply
  15. Lori

    Oh, Tom. Don’t you know that when people get divorced around age 35 or so, they run out and buy new dishes, and all the dishes out there are really big now, so they put more food on their plate and overeat. And of course when people get married, they start eating off of real dishes (large now) instead of flimsy little paper plates that single people all eat off of. That’s why married people and middle-aged people are heaver. Single people are thinner because you can’t put very much food on a paper plate. Or they go to coffee shops and drink coffee.

    Kidding aside, I do think that itty-bitty juice glasses are a good idea if you’re going to drink juice. It’s liquid sugar, and for some of us, a big glass of juice is going to bring on hunger an hour later.

    I agree on that, but soda addicts tend to drink the same quantity of the stuff over the course of a day whether they drink from big glasses or little glasses.

    Reply
  16. Dan

    I wish government would stay away from telling people what, and how, to eat. Denmark have recently brought in sugar and fat taxes, and obviously this is with good intentions, but there is just not enough evidence that fat is bad for you to tax it. And for that reason sugar should be left alone too because potentially we could be wrong there too.

    Didn’t Denmark repeal its fat tax?

    Reply
  17. Catherine

    Here in the UK, we have a fascinating TV programme called “Secret Eaters”, which I am glued to every week. It follows two people every week who just can’t understand why they’re piling on the weight when they don’t think that they eat very much at all. Their homes are rigged, with their agreement, with cameras, for a week to record everything they eat at home. They’re asked to provide a diary of the food they normally eat each week, before filming starts. Almost without exception, their days start with modest cereal breakfasts, or none at all, salad for lunch, and meat or fish with steamed vegetables for dinner, very little alchohol, and fruit for snacks. What they don’t know is that they are being tailed, outside their homes, by a couple of guys who are clocking precisely what they eat when not at home. It is just stunning the amount of junk food these people consume without, apparently, acknowledging it. Chocolate, sweets, pastries, cakes, takeaway meals of all kinds, and far more alcohol than they imagined in some cases. What annoys me about the programme is that they then have a dietitian who turns up to tell them how many calories they’ve REALLY eaten in a day, and how bringing down their fat intake will make a vast difference, as well as not drinking as much alchohol. One young woman’s daily intake consisted almost entirely of carbohydrate junk food – chips, chocolate, instant pasta meals, biscuits and crisps, burgers and sausage rolls. No mention by the dietitian of the highly refined carb intake and sugar intake! My absolute favourite “secret” meal was a chap who was already weighing in at over 19 stones. He went to a bakery and bought a steak pie. He went home and buttered two “doorstep” slices of white bread, and put the pie inside it to make a sandwich!! That was after he’d drizzled a lot of tomato ketchup on the pie. He was one of the participants who said he had salad every day for his lunch…. I’m sure you chaps in the US will be able to see these programmes on the web – very entertaining! Just try and ignore the infuriating dietitian.

    “Infuriating dietitian” is usually redundant.

    Reply
  18. Catherine

    Here in the UK, we have a fascinating TV programme called “Secret Eaters”, which I am glued to every week. It follows two people every week who just can’t understand why they’re piling on the weight when they don’t think that they eat very much at all. Their homes are rigged, with their agreement, with cameras, for a week to record everything they eat at home. They’re asked to provide a diary of the food they normally eat each week, before filming starts. Almost without exception, their days start with modest cereal breakfasts, or none at all, salad for lunch, and meat or fish with steamed vegetables for dinner, very little alchohol, and fruit for snacks. What they don’t know is that they are being tailed, outside their homes, by a couple of guys who are clocking precisely what they eat when not at home. It is just stunning the amount of junk food these people consume without, apparently, acknowledging it. Chocolate, sweets, pastries, cakes, takeaway meals of all kinds, and far more alcohol than they imagined in some cases. What annoys me about the programme is that they then have a dietitian who turns up to tell them how many calories they’ve REALLY eaten in a day, and how bringing down their fat intake will make a vast difference, as well as not drinking as much alchohol. One young woman’s daily intake consisted almost entirely of carbohydrate junk food – chips, chocolate, instant pasta meals, biscuits and crisps, burgers and sausage rolls. No mention by the dietitian of the highly refined carb intake and sugar intake! My absolute favourite “secret” meal was a chap who was already weighing in at over 19 stones. He went to a bakery and bought a steak pie. He went home and buttered two “doorstep” slices of white bread, and put the pie inside it to make a sandwich!! That was after he’d drizzled a lot of tomato ketchup on the pie. He was one of the participants who said he had salad every day for his lunch…. I’m sure you chaps in the US will be able to see these programmes on the web – very entertaining! Just try and ignore the infuriating dietitian.

    “Infuriating dietitian” is usually redundant.

    Reply
  19. Morokiane

    When the soda ban was going on in New York and interview with Bloomberg came on the radio and he said, “We’re not banning the drinks, if you want 32oz’s just buy two 16’s. It’s about portion control.”

    My goodness.

    Reply
  20. Morokiane

    When the soda ban was going on in New York and interview with Bloomberg came on the radio and he said, “We’re not banning the drinks, if you want 32oz’s just buy two 16’s. It’s about portion control.”

    My goodness.

    Reply
  21. Ari Mendelson

    I think portion size might have something to do with calories consumed.

    I make myself a high fat low carb drink every morning for breakfast (when I met him, I gave Jimmy Moore a taste, he can confirm. I wanted to see what the low-carb man himself would think of my low-carb creation). Basically, it’s got lots of cream, full fat yogurt, coconut oil, etc.

    I was serving it up in regular sized glasses. I was overeating and gaining back some weight. I switched to 7 oz. demitasse glasses to serve my breakfast. Now I consume significantly fewer calories and am just as satisfied as I was with the bigger serving.

    So, maybe serving size, plate size, etc. isn’t very important, but I would think it has something to do with per meal calorie consumption.

    Reply
  22. Martha

    Very old thread but I find myself so annoyed by it I’m compelled to say SOMETHING.. It seems proven again and again and again by people who appear to have I.Q.s over*51*when reading about stuff like this that WE ARE FAT BECAUSE WE ARE WILLFULLY BLINDING OURSELVES,EXCUSING OURSELVES,BLAMING EVERYBODY*EXCEPT*US FOR THE CHOICES WE MAK!.. And they are NOT FROM IGNORANCE, they are from our utter detachment to reality /personal responsibility. An honest person who was not looking to place subterfuges all around the issue to be seen would reasonably be able to see(regardless of your feelings or views about government interference, The “nanny State”, lobbyists, shady advertising, or even obesity)the value in making sure that people are able to make CONSCIOUS decisions about how much food/drink that may not be good for them they are actually consuming by ensuring that they are accountable for knowingly consuming enough food or soda for a*FAMILY*..IT’S TOO EASY TO GRAB A DOUBLE BACON WHOPPER& DRINK 32OZ.COKES ALL DAY AND NOT HAVE TO REGISTER LET ALONE ADMIT(even to yourself!) That you just consumed 4 servings of soda and a meal for 2! it was “a”Burger&”a”soda right?!..if cigarette companies had a super pack that held 60&I smoke it daily I don’t have to OWN the reality that I’m NOT a”pack a day”smoker So I can continue to not internalize that I’m in fact a 3 pack a day smoker and that maybe it’s getting out of control..That is what the laws that seem so silly are really hoping to achieve. We hate the thought because deep down we KNOW we should have shame for eating the way we do(not many heavy people would admit on their Facebook page or at work that they just ate 3 whoppers(which are 2 servings each BTW..) and 4 sodas and 2 snickers bars-because they KNOW they would be judged even by people who like them or perhaps hear the dreaded”dude..no wonder you’re a fatass!that’s disgusting -wtf?!…)and suddenly it would SUCK if we could no longer be like”Whaaaaaaa?..the devil food industry sucks man!I thought I was drinking one serving-how was I to know it was SUPPOSED to be 8oz?!.I’ve been tricked..no wonder I’m fat! Waaaaaa sniff snifffffle…off to find a TWIN PACK of little Debbie to ease my hurt!!”..as RIDICULOUS as THAT sounds it is the low which many of us have stooped(and dropped our own KIDS into!)to avoid trading our fattening crap that nobody made us BUY let alone CONSUME IN ONE SITTING for some plain brown rice, black beans, *PLAIN OLD WATER* and celery sticks for awhile ..Hard but necessary..like we would maybe be expected to do with money if budgeting to pay down credit card debt-but its so NOT “SATISFYING”..and that’s what we are somehow”entitled”to right?!..Please! WAKE UP-stop playing stupid on purpose people!-FRIGGIN EMPEROR IS NAKED! AND IT’S NOT A PRETTY SIGHT!

    Reply
  23. Ari Mendelson

    I think portion size might have something to do with calories consumed.

    I make myself a high fat low carb drink every morning for breakfast (when I met him, I gave Jimmy Moore a taste, he can confirm. I wanted to see what the low-carb man himself would think of my low-carb creation). Basically, it’s got lots of cream, full fat yogurt, coconut oil, etc.

    I was serving it up in regular sized glasses. I was overeating and gaining back some weight. I switched to 7 oz. demitasse glasses to serve my breakfast. Now I consume significantly fewer calories and am just as satisfied as I was with the bigger serving.

    So, maybe serving size, plate size, etc. isn’t very important, but I would think it has something to do with per meal calorie consumption.

    Reply
  24. Martha

    Very old thread but I find myself so annoyed by it I’m compelled to say SOMETHING.. It seems proven again and again and again by people who appear to have I.Q.s over*51*when reading about stuff like this that WE ARE FAT BECAUSE WE ARE WILLFULLY BLINDING OURSELVES,EXCUSING OURSELVES,BLAMING EVERYBODY*EXCEPT*US FOR THE CHOICES WE MAK!.. And they are NOT FROM IGNORANCE, they are from our utter detachment to reality /personal responsibility. An honest person who was not looking to place subterfuges all around the issue to be seen would reasonably be able to see(regardless of your feelings or views about government interference, The “nanny State”, lobbyists, shady advertising, or even obesity)the value in making sure that people are able to make CONSCIOUS decisions about how much food/drink that may not be good for them they are actually consuming by ensuring that they are accountable for knowingly consuming enough food or soda for a*FAMILY*..IT’S TOO EASY TO GRAB A DOUBLE BACON WHOPPER& DRINK 32OZ.COKES ALL DAY AND NOT HAVE TO REGISTER LET ALONE ADMIT(even to yourself!) That you just consumed 4 servings of soda and a meal for 2! it was “a”Burger&”a”soda right?!..if cigarette companies had a super pack that held 60&I smoke it daily I don’t have to OWN the reality that I’m NOT a”pack a day”smoker So I can continue to not internalize that I’m in fact a 3 pack a day smoker and that maybe it’s getting out of control..That is what the laws that seem so silly are really hoping to achieve. We hate the thought because deep down we KNOW we should have shame for eating the way we do(not many heavy people would admit on their Facebook page or at work that they just ate 3 whoppers(which are 2 servings each BTW..) and 4 sodas and 2 snickers bars-because they KNOW they would be judged even by people who like them or perhaps hear the dreaded”dude..no wonder you’re a fatass!that’s disgusting -wtf?!…)and suddenly it would SUCK if we could no longer be like”Whaaaaaaa?..the devil food industry sucks man!I thought I was drinking one serving-how was I to know it was SUPPOSED to be 8oz?!.I’ve been tricked..no wonder I’m fat! Waaaaaa sniff snifffffle…off to find a TWIN PACK of little Debbie to ease my hurt!!”..as RIDICULOUS as THAT sounds it is the low which many of us have stooped(and dropped our own KIDS into!)to avoid trading our fattening crap that nobody made us BUY let alone CONSUME IN ONE SITTING for some plain brown rice, black beans, *PLAIN OLD WATER* and celery sticks for awhile ..Hard but necessary..like we would maybe be expected to do with money if budgeting to pay down credit card debt-but its so NOT “SATISFYING”..and that’s what we are somehow”entitled”to right?!..Please! WAKE UP-stop playing stupid on purpose people!-FRIGGIN EMPEROR IS NAKED! AND IT’S NOT A PRETTY SIGHT!

    Reply

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