“Portion Size Me!” Book, Plus an Infographic That Speaks Volumes

by Bettina Elias Siegel on May 22, 2012

Now that school is almost out and the pace in the TLT household is slowing down, it’s my goal to tackle a teetering bedside stack of kid-and-f00d reading.  So this summer you can look forward to several book reviews and – yay! – book giveaways to add to your own summer reading list.

One of the titles I’ll be reviewing is Portion Size Me: A Kid-Driven Plan to a Healthier Family, in which 12-year-old author Marshall Reid recounts how he turned his own and his family’s life around with a new focus on healthier eating.  I recently shared a New York Times account of his story on TLT’s Facebook page and many readers found it really inspiring.  So I’m pleased to report that I’ll also be interviewing Marshall in conjunction with  my review.  Stay tuned!

On a related note, the Centers for Disease Control just shared with me a new infographic on portion sizes.  We all know restaurant portions are bigger than they used to be but this graphic really brings it home, doesn’t it?

CDC The New (Ab)normal

 

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Justin May 22, 2012 at 12:23 pm

As much as I agree with the “food portions with restaurants is out of control,” argument, I’m kind of disgusted with the CDC for their scare-tactic, rather than facts-based representation of the problem in that graphic.

For example, it’s unclear what “size” they’re comparing. Even in the 1950′s, I’m sure 7oz was closer to a size small while 42oz is a large or extra-large by today’s standards. Same goes for the burger. Even my favorite chain steakhouse only serves a half-pound (8oz) burger–and that’s oversized, IMHO.

This point was easily made with an apples-to-apples comparison. There was really no need to use apples-to-oranges, especially from an agency that prides itself in statistical analysis. I’d expect better. :-(

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Bettina Elias Siegel May 22, 2012 at 3:36 pm

Justin: I think that’s a fair point on the soda – I don’t know statistics but I’m sure even today the 42oz option is not the norm. Nonetheless, it’s notable that in 1950, if you’d even asked for 42 oz of soda, I think people would’ve thought you were insane! That alone says something profound.

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EdT. May 23, 2012 at 3:41 pm

If I were a betting man, I would bet that they are comparing the “maximum” size offered in the 1950′s with the “maximum” size offered by most fast-food places today (though there are some establishments that offer much larger portions, esp. with burgers.) I think the problem is that “maximum” and “regular” were pretty much the same size in the 50s (I don’t recall there being a lot of size options in the 60s, myself), while today there are more options offered.

As presented, though, one could understandably think that the comparison is between what was normal back then vs. what is normal today, with “normal” being defined as “regular” size portion. Which is very misleading on the part of the infographic.

~EdT.

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Gina May 22, 2012 at 10:26 pm

This explains so much! Thanks for sharing, Bettina!

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