Portion Distortion!

Stay Young at Heart - Portion Distortion

Portion Distortion!


Do You Know How Food Portions Have
Changed in 20 Years?

Anyone eating on the run or at restaurants has probably noticed that food portions have gotten larger. Some portions are called “super size,” while others have simply grown in size and provide enough food for at least two people. With this growth have come increases in waistlines and body weight.

To see if you know how today’s portions compare to the portions available 20 years ago, quiz yourself on Portion Distortion I (2003) and Portion Distortion II (2004). You will also learn about the amount of physical activity required to burn off the extra calories provided by today’s portions.

We hope you find Portion Distortion insightful and fun. We also hope that next time you eat on the run, you will think twice about the food portions offered to you.

 Portion Distortion I
 Portion Distortion II

To learn about the difference between portions and servings, visit Keep an Eye on Portion Size.

Department of Health and Human Services National Institutes of Health National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute



Trends and subtrends

 Graph While obesity is on the rise globally, its underlying dynamics vary across regions. In poor countries people tend to get fatter as their incomes rise, while in developed and transitional economies, higher income correlates with slimmer shapes.

Studies on the relationship between poverty and overweight have identified a number of socioeconomic factors at work. Some have linked low stature and growth stunting due to fetal and early malnutrition with obesity in later life. Cultural factors are also important: many minority and lower income groups associate fatness with prosperity, a perception not shared in better off and better educated sectors of society.

Gender differences further complicate the picture. In general, women tend to have higher rates of obesity than men. But rates of overweight are higher for men in developed countries yet higher for women in developing ones. Moreover, in many developing countries, the relationship between socioeconomic status and obesity is positive for men but negative for women.


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