Learning for Life: Portion distortion

In the last 20 years, portion sizes of food have substantially increased. An average serving of french fries today contains 400 more calories than it did 20 years ago; two slices of pizza pack 350 additional calories; and a typical bucket of movie theater popcorn has more than doubled to a whopping 630 calories. How long does it take us to burn off these extra calories? We would have to walk the dog for 70 minutes, dance for an hour, swim laps for 45 minutes, or chop wood for 50 minutes to burn off the additional calories from just one of those size increases!

Keeping some of the following items in mind can help us identify proper portions: a pat of butter should be about the size of a postage stamp. One cup of fruit or vegetables is equal to a baseball. A deck of playing cards represents a 3-ounce portion of meat, and two dominoes are the equivalent of a serving of cheese.

For more information on serving sizes and how to read and understand the nutrition facts label on products, stop by the Cooperative Extension Service at 43961 K-Beach Road, Soldotna.

Submitted by Amorette Payment, UAF Cooperative Extension Service, Nutrition Educator, Kenai Peninsula District.

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