Size Doesn't Matter As Much As It Should
If the low-fat craze of the '90s taught us anything, it's that calories do count and that you can't eat massive quantities of low-fat foods and still stay slim.
Even so, nearly 80 percent of Americans believe that what they eat is more important than how much they eat, according to a survey of 1,000 adults conducted on behalf of the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR).
Despite the low-fat hype fueled by the manufacturers of low-fat (and, very often, high sugar) foods, nutritionists point to growing portion sizes (familiar with the phrase ''Super-size it''?) as a prime factor in our nation's expanding waistlines.
For example, whereas a standard muffin once weighed in about 1.5 ounces, many now tip the scales at a whopping half a pound.
And many restaurants have taken to serving dinners on platters rather than standard dinner plates.
What else do Americans have to say about their eating habits and weight-loss strategies?
- Fifty-six percent decide how much to eat based on how hungry they are, while 26 percent eat everything on their plate no matter how much they are served.
- Only 12 percent considered the portion guidelines printed on the food label, and 67 percent say they never measure out food.
- Only one percent could correctly estimate standard serving sizes for eight major foods including pasta and potatoes, as defined by the USDA.
- Sixty-two percent report they are above their ideal weight, and 10 percent admit they need to lose 50 pounds or more.
Most nutritionists contend that most people could radically improve their diets by making a few simple changes, such as adding a few more fruits and vegetables, avoiding processed foods and cutting back on sugar, which is often the main ingredient in many low-fat foods.
Source: Survey conducted by Penn, Schoen and Berland Associates, Washington, D.C.
This appeared in ACE FitnessMatters, ACE's official magazine.
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