Magazine article Work & Family Life

Has 'Super Size' Become the New 'Normal'?

Magazine article Work & Family Life

Has 'Super Size' Become the New 'Normal'?

Article excerpt

The "super size" designation may have disappeared from McDonald's in the wake of publicity from die documentary film "Super Size Me." But U.S. portion sizes have not gotten smaller as a result.

Actually, the opposite is more the case. Super sizes are alive and well, not just at fast-food chains, but at restaurants of all kinds, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest. But we don't call them that now. We just think of them as "normal."

It may help to compare what is typically served when we eat out with the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) portion-size standards. For example:

Blueberry muffins. FDA standard: 2 ounces, 190 calories. The Dunkin' Donuts blueberry muffin weighs 5 ounces and is 480 calories; its "reduced fat" version is still high, 430 calories. The Starbucks version is 360 calories, the Au Bon Pain is 490.

Pizza. FDA standard: 5 ounces. Once upon a time Americans ate a slice of pizza, but now we've graduated to an entire pie at a sitting. Pizza Hut's 7-ounce Personal Pan Pepperoni Pizza has 710 calories. The California Pizza Kitchen version weighs 13 ounces, and Uno Chicago's 19ounce Deep Dish Prima Pepperoni Pizza has a whopping 1,830 calories with 3,120 milligrams of sodium, a two-day supply. …

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