Portion Size and Sugary Foods Responsible for Obesity

Portion Size and Sugary Foods Responsible for Obesity

Authored by DesiMD Doctor on 13 Dec 2015 - 15:21


According to a study published in the noted Lancet Journal, India is just behind US and China with highest number of obese people. Feeding on large portions of sugary food and drinks can lead to overweight and obesity. Reducing the food portion size, packaging and tableware could help deal with obesity, according to a report published in the BMJ

A recent Cochrane survey by Theresa Marteau and group from the University of Cambridge in the UK provides the "most conclusive evidence to date" that people ingest more food or drinks when faced with larger size portions or packages and when using larger items of tableware. Avoiding larger portions totally could cut down daily energy intake consumed by 22-29% .

Suggestions to regulate portion size: Theresa Marteau and colleagues have evoked possible policy changes that could cut down the size, availability and appeal of large food and drink portions. The ideas include:

  • Cutting down the serving sizes of high-calorie food and drink, like the standard single serving of fries, cakes and candies.
  • Cutting down the accessibility of larger portion and package sizes, by taking away the largest serving size.
  • Underlying single portion sizes in packaging
  • Limiting portion and package sizes in advertisements 
  • Designing tableware in order to promote little mouthfuls, such as shallow plates, straight-sided glasses and smaller cutlery

"Although policy makers and the food industry have primary responsibility for action, public acceptability is likely to be an important facilitator," researchers add.


Reference: Downsizing: policy options to reduce portion sizes to help tackle obesity, Theresa M. Marteau et al., BMJ, doi: 10.1136/bmj.h5863, published 2 December 2015.

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