Are You Sick Of Growing Portion Sizes When Eating Out? It’s YOUR Fault!

Filed under: In The News — @ October 23, 2006

Hunka, hunka burning portion sizes are served at restaurants

We are in quite a precarious position here in the United States.

On the one hand, millions upon millions of people are either actively pursuing or need to be doing something about their weight for a myriad of reasons, not the least of which is to prevent the onset of diet-related diseases which science is confirming more and more of lately and much more research is on the way.

At the same time, we have the restaurant industry feeling the pressure from consumers and their fierce competition to offer large enough portion sizes for the money being spent which has resulted in astronomical increases in portion sizes to keep up with the consumer demand.

And this USA Today article about the results of a new survey of restaurant chefs released on Saturday at the Annual Meeting of the Obesity Society confirms this fact.

Conducted by the NPD Group along with researchers at Pennsylvania State University and the South Carolina-based Clemson University, 300 restaurant chefs were surveyed to determine whether they are aware of the larger portion sizes and calories they are serving to the public.

Here are the major findings of the survey:

- Food portion sizes are 2-4 times larger at restaurants
- Restaurants believe consumers WANT lots of food on their plate
- Meals served at restaurants have at least 60% more calories
- Americans ate 209 meals each away from home in 2005
- Portion sizes have steadily grown since the 1970s
- Chefs know the larger portions they serve are unhealthy
- Restaurants expect people to eat most or all of the food served
- Over three-fourths of the chefs think their portions are “regular”
- Less than one-fifth of them think portions are bigger
- 58% believe people should eat until they are full and no more
- 86% state diners would notice if the portions were reduced by 25%
- Nearly 60% said diners would not notice a 10-15% portion reduction

Of course, all of these statistics from restaurant chefs will be used to argue that restaurants should cut back on their portions and calories. You know another wave of criticism is building up and will yet again blame the restaurant industry for this. But, as you know, this is something I have previously addressed as a bad idea. Nevertheless, I do think that portion sizes have gone down a slippery slope that will be very difficult to overcome because of the most culpable party in this debate–THE CONSUMER!

Click here to see why I have come to this conclusion based on my experience working in the customer service department of a well-known restaurant chain.


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