When we compare portion sizes of food between the time we were kids and now, the question is: have our portion sizes grown to fill bigger plates or have bigger plates trained us to eat bigger portions?
Recently, I mixed up a batch of Snickerdoodles, formed the dough into balls the size of a small walnut, and baked them. According to the recipe, the yield was eight dozen cookies. I got only five dozen. They were the perfect portion size – for a toddler. How did I come to expect a cookie to be as big as my hand? I don’t know. Someone suggested we used to eat three or four cookies at a sitting, so why not make one big cookie of the equivalent size. It would be more efficient if nothing else.
Dinner Plate Sizes
A customer in an antique store found a set of 1930s dishes she liked, except it was incomplete, so she took a salad plate to the front desk and asked the clerk if the set also came with dinner plates. The clerk answered, “Oh yes. You’re holding one. They’re quite a bit smaller than ours today.” You can say that again. Some dinner plates in restaurants could be mistaken for serving platters!
According to the CDC researchers, “short-term studies show that people eat more when they are confronted with larger portion sizes.”
If a subtle change like switching to a salad plate for dinner retrains my brain to recognize and accept what an appropriate portion looks and feels like, I’m all for it.
What do you think? Have our portion sizes grown to fill bigger plates or have bigger plates trained us to eat bigger portions?
August 26, 2014