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Old 11-03-2010, 11:17 AM   #1
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Default and we wonder why we have such an obesity epidemic...

So I just got some coffee from the kitchen area at work and noticed todays selection of office goodies. Yes, each day there is SOMETHING for free (mostly donuts, cookies, or muffins). Today was a package of "Otis Spunkmeyer banana muffins". Just for curiosity sake, I took a look at the nutritional label. Here, the serving size is "half a muffin" and the count was 220 calories! These are small little muffins and nobody is going to eat a half of one. If you are going to eat a muffin you are going to eat the entire thing and that would be 440 calories alone! How is that even possible that something can be that calorie dense? Its fascinating to me and disturbing at the same time.

What annoys me the most is serving sizes on packages. Why doesn't the FDA require rational serving sizes? If it is a muffin, the serving size should be a muffin. Its a game being played to distort the reality of what you are eating. I'm usually not one for government regulation, but making things rational might help to shock people into seeing the reality of what they are eating.

If we had real labelling maybe we could avoid things like Uno's Chicago grill having an "individual" Uno Classic pizza (small round pizza meant for 1 person) that is listed as 770 calories per serving. However, that individual pizza is listed as 3 serving sizes. A pizza designed for 1 person that is even named "individual" and it is 3 serving sizes?? You eat the entire thing and it is 2310 calories! Almost everyone would be well over their entire calories for the day just eating that one thing.

In the past was food just as caloric but people were sensible enough to eat less? I don't think so. I think food manufacturers are designing foods with as much fat and calories as possible because this is what makes us addicted to them. High fat and extremely high calorie foods are addicting and that is what makes money. Its sad.

So serving sizes are out of wack with reality and food manufacturers are packing in as much calories as humanly possible. I'm surprised the obesity epidemic is not worse.

*rant over*
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Old 11-03-2010, 11:22 AM   #2
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I believe the FDA goes by weight so it is the manufacturer that is putting 2 servings in the packaging when they could put 1. It is also the pizza place that is making a claim that a pizza is an 'individual' pizza when it really isn't.

So yeah it is marketing.
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Old 11-03-2010, 11:25 AM   #3
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Everything you say is so true. I'm old enough to remember the 60s and 70s, portions of everything were so much smaller then. Particularly in restaurants. Not sure exactly when it happened but all of a sudden there were no more 8" dinner plates, every dish you get when you eat out is on a platter! Every drink is bucket size! I have a lot of European friends online, and they are always going on about when they visit America, they bring their entree to the table and it looks enough to feed the whole table.

I think many people don't read the labels on packages, they purposely make them confusing. One thing they have done here in CA is demand that restaurants put "nutrition" info on each table, and I have been shocked. Things I thought were healthy like salads, many times turned out to be higher in calories than getting burgers. If you aren't dieting I guess you don't pay attention to any of this, cause I always see other diners getting appetizers, drinks, huge meals, desserts and more drinks. Lord knows I can eat like a wolf but not all at the same meal.
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Old 11-03-2010, 12:00 PM   #4
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I know, right? Just tell me the calories for the whole stinking muffin. Don't try to make it more attractive than it is. Same with those little tubs of ice cream...how many people really divide them into 4 or 5 servings? Maybe 2 but that's about it in my world.
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Old 11-03-2010, 12:02 PM   #5
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I worked in the restaurant business in the 60s-70s, in the California wine country. (Not chain restaurants)

Then most restaurants had soup or salad, relish tray, bread basket, entree, beverage and dessert when you went to dinner. (of course you could order ala carte, but it was not the norm then, as it is now) All freshly prepared. Small soup cups, not alot of cream soups, and certainly not thickened with HFCS fake creamer, which is the norm for cream soups in restaurants now (doesn't break or sour). Salad was on a small plate or bowl, lightly dressed, or with dressing on side-- again no HCFS. Scoop for rice or potatoes was 1/2 cup. Meat portion between 4-7 ounces raw weight, (except steaks, they were always too big) Dinner plate was smaller. Beverage cup was 5 ounces for hot cup, or 8 ounces for cold glass. Of course you could pig out on the bread if you wanted.
Sandwiches had 2-4 ounces of meat if they were deli, hamburgers 4 ounce raw weight, mostly.

I showed a picture of a celebratory dinner out to my kids, and they mentioned that we were drinking from "miniature" cups. Nope, not so...but there wasn't a 12 or 16 ounce container on the table...except the water pitcher.

You used to be a given, always a full water glass or pitcher, they didn't assume everyone would drink a soft drink. BUT we all knew that if you could get them too it was the highest profit item in the building. Cheap, sugar filled, empty nutrition and once addicted folks will pay a dollar or more for a beverage that costs only 3-9 cents a glass to pour.
So, even a celebratory dinner out had some portion control and was made with fresh unadulterated food.

Now, we often think we need monstrous servings of things or it isn't enough.
I am not sure when it happened. I hope we are heading the opposite direction. One size doesn't fit all.
I will:Journal every bite * Be gentle to myself and my family * Exercise to the best of my ability * Drink at least 8 glasses of water * Focus on colorful veggies, salads, low gycemic fruit, lean proteins and healthy fats * Limit grains * Get up at the same time everyday and get back into routine * Visit 3FC every day, it makes a big difference to my attitude, thanks to the wonderful folks here.

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Old 11-03-2010, 12:08 PM   #6
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I would like it a lot better
if they just put the whole
calorie count on their
products. At my school a
muffin is 350 calories, but
contains 2 servings. It
annoys me a lot that the
product LOOKS good but
that little muffin, which takes
two minutes to eat, is a
dinner's serving. :/

Last edited by Ciao; 11-03-2010 at 12:09 PM.
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Old 11-03-2010, 12:09 PM   #7
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I hate it when you buy something that says "100 CALORIES PER SERVING!!!" but then you look and the serving is like a one inch square - not even enough for a child.
This one cracked me up - my husband loves to drink vitamin water and if you read the label it says 2 servings at 0 calories per serving. All I can think is that the "real" calories must be more than 5 so then they could not call it calorie free. But again thats deceptive - what if you drank 10 a day???
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Old 11-03-2010, 12:16 PM   #8
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I totally agree. If you read the book "The End of Overeating," he talks about how the food industry has warped lots of food and put too much sugar/fat/salt in it.

It's an interesting read and speaks to exactally what you're talking about!
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Old 11-03-2010, 12:19 PM   #9
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Portion sizes always amaze me, how warped our perceptions are on how much we should be eating!

I do agree it's a get 'em hooked marketing scheme from the manufacturers.
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Old 11-03-2010, 12:26 PM   #10
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I used to say to myself. oh wow only such a such a calories. never thinking to look at the 'per servings' now i'm so anal about it. and your right. don't put a whole muffin in a package and say serving size half. say the calories for the whole thing. its very deceiving!


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Old 11-03-2010, 12:36 PM   #11
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I was reading the back of "New Healthy Pizza Bites" from healthy choice or Marie Callender I think, they were sampling them at Target last week. The calorie count was blasted all over the front of the bag. 7 bites in a bag, 4 bites are a serving. And it was a small bag. No one would just eat 4 of those. 650 cals for the entire bag.

I watched half a dozen people get samples and then buy several bags. Some of them talked about it being a good lunch for the kids that were with them. I listened to one boy talk about needing more than one bag for a lunch for him.

I may not be there yet, but I'm closer than I was yesterday.

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Old 11-03-2010, 12:36 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by matt_H View Post
In the past was food just as caloric but people were sensible enough to eat less? I don't think so. I think food manufacturers are designing foods with as much fat and calories as possible because this is what makes us addicted to them. High fat and extremely high calorie foods are addicting and that is what makes money. Its sad.

So serving sizes are out of wack with reality and food manufacturers are packing in as much calories as humanly possible. I'm surprised the obesity epidemic is not worse.
I think we moved more! We walked or rode bikes everywhere, we had to go gomeplace for information etc. Part of the problem is how sedintary we have become as a nation. We sit in front of the computer, we have 500 channels on TV instead of the 5 growing up and we never had to go to a gym because we moved all the time! and there was gym or sprots every day at school.

As for serving size there are tons of items that do it, chocolate milk comes to mind because my sons liked it as kids, We have to teach about reading lables for everything. I am not sure they are out of wack per say, but we want bang for our buck and larger packaging is what we look for. Maybe 20 years ago that muffin would have been 1/2 the size....
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Old 11-03-2010, 12:48 PM   #13
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I spluged over the weekend and had a 99 cent bag of Lay's potato chips with a sandwich when we were traveling. I was actually kinda impressed because the bag, which used to say 2 or 2.5 servings at whatever calories, had changed to 1 Serving per bag, 290 calories. I'd heard the FDA was going to try to make manufacturers label multi-serving packages more clearly, but this is the first time I've actually SEEN it.
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Old 11-03-2010, 12:56 PM   #14
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I looked at the mcdonalds information not to long ago and was SHOCKED at how many calories are in a big mac meal and if you super size it you are looking at 2000 calories YIKES
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Old 11-03-2010, 01:07 PM   #15
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I always have thought that our food was being deliberately made addictive by manufacturers. One Mac or KFC, and I'm lost.

Last edited by Rosinante; 11-03-2010 at 02:00 PM.
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