Smaller Plates Mean Smaller Waist Lines - "It's Only Food" Blog at - 254525

"It's Only Food"

Smaller plates mean smaller waist lines 
Oct. 22, 2011 2:33 pm 
Updated: Oct. 29, 2011 2:22 pm
Over the last decade we have witnessed portions of food growing increasingly larger in their placement on menus and in advertising.  Cheese-stuffed pizza crust, bigger burgers, more toppings, deals involving more for less, burritos as big as your head, and  huge appetizers served before the salad , soup, entrée and dessert. And currently there are ubiquitous eating competitions and shows on television that puts to shame the concept of “bigger is better.” 
This is disturbing on many levels.
One, there are too many families that are going hungry, and we are feeding our faces more in one meal than some people see on their plates in a week.  
 Secondly, we have a severe obesity problem in this country that needs to be addressed immediately, a subject that was never discussed in all the gibbering and raving in the debate about health care reform.  With heart disease, cancer and diabetes on the rise in children and young adults, it astonishes me that no one brought up the gluttony and lack of exercise that has become pandemic in our society, that Lipitor is being prescribed to 5th graders and teen agers are getting lap band surgery to control their weight.  Health insurance coverage cost less if you are in good shape and you may stay out of the hospital and avoid all the diseases if you are healthy.  You cannot do this by eating a truck load of food at every meal.
Lastly, I am in the food service industry and wish the propaganda of gluttony would stop.  Food was meant to be enjoyed.  Other cultures have the “little dishes”-the Maghreb from North Africa, Tapas from Spain, Antojitos from South America, dim sum from China, the amuse-bouches of France, Meze from the Middle East, Zakuski from Russia, and the Smorgasbord from Scandinavia.
 Unlike hors d’oeuvres’, which means “outside the meal” as an appetizer; the little dishes are the main serving of food but served as smaller portions and enjoyed casually and with rich tradition.  In the America we are slowly arriving at this idea with tasting menus and fusion foods that combine different cultures and their customs of eating.
The food pyramid is a good source of information to see what types of food you should be eating, and which ones should be eaten less often.  The type 2 diabetes diet also is a good way to start eating a healthier diet, which consists of more fruits and vegetables and less fat, sugar and processed items.
Excessive eating may be a trend we are going through, but I can’t remember the last time I was asked if I wanted my fruit cup super-sized.

Oct. 22, 2011 3:37 pm
I live in NYC. They supersize the fruit cups too. One reason is the price that is charged. Most people nowadays split entrees and desserts (restaurants get around this by charging you for the extra plate)Personally, my favorites have always been appetizers regardless of the cuisine
Oct. 22, 2011 3:50 pm
Way before small plates made it into the venacular, I'd often order just appetizers at a restaurant. I liked the added variety, smaller portions (and prices!)
Oct. 22, 2011 5:20 pm
I hate the apps. salad, soup, dinner and dessert....oh yea and the insulin after I roll my fat A$$ out to my car.
Oct. 22, 2011 6:52 pm
You have brought up some good points and suggestions. I just saw a commercial concerning a famous buffet style restaurant now having a chocolate fountain. How disgusting this would be, how about dipping your chicken wing or roast beef in that? lol, I know it is meant for fruit or desserts, but I think having this in a resturant is just WRONG!!!! Any comments from others on this?
Oct. 22, 2011 8:17 pm
If you want to know what a portion size looks like this slide show from the Mayo Clinic is excellent. I have never understood bakeries making cookies the size of a saucer. I make mine European style which ends up being around 75 calories for most cookies. After two or three bites of something you are no longer really tasting the food anyway but are simply chewing and swallowing.
Oct. 23, 2011 8:58 am
I saw that ad for the chocolate fountain and my grandchildren went there and raved about it. Those things give me the willys, even at weddings, etc. All I can think of is that people got chocolate on their hands, licked them, and then further tainted the flow. Yuck. Not for me thanks.
Oct. 23, 2011 9:41 am
I used to be a power eater. I'd not begin eating until 2-3pm (wasn't getting up until 10-11), then eat until I went to bed. Result - morbid obesity and a very drastic form of gastric bypass surgery called Biliopancreatic Diversion w/Duodenal Switch. Now my stomach is normal size, my long and short intestines are each half the length of normal. No tiny stomach pouch as with typical gastric bypass or lapband. I only absorb about 50% of the fat I eat, and about 70% of the protein. Carbs are still 100%. Fast-forward 12 yrs and I'm no longer obese, not even overweight, haven't been for a long time. I've added yrs to my life, and am no longer diabetic. Yes, gastric bypass does cure diabetes. Literally. From the moment I awoke after surgery my glucose has been normal. A big bonus to my surgery is that I can eat like a normal person, with a Happy Meal being completely satisfying and filling. This is a long way of saying that I agree, portion size has much to do with our obesity epidemic. When I was a kid, when McDonald's only had one burger, the one that's now in the Happy Meal, we'd go there for a treat meal. 5 burgers, 4 fries (also only one size, small) and 4 soft drinks fed us all. Dad had two burgers, everyone else, even Mom, just one. That was 630 calories for all but Dad. We'd all emerge happy and full. Obesity was an aberration. We eat way too many calories, bottom line. But we can't blame the restaurants. If we didn't jump on every new bigger burger, they wouldn't last on the menu. We're our own worst enemies, for sure.
Oct. 23, 2011 10:07 am
I've lost 65 pounds in the last year by eating right and excecising. I can honestly say that opening my eyes and seeing that we are used as guinea pigs in the marketing of food, unknowingly or knowingly by those who perpetrate it. By watching what you eat, making concious decisions on our caloric intake, and creating a lifestyle of healthy eating, the puonds will come right off.
Oct. 23, 2011 10:09 am
Instead of the 3 quarter punders with cheese and 2 big Macs and a large side of fries, I get the happy meal w/apples and milk. I am in no way blaming McD's, they are just a symptom in the obesity disease.
Oct. 23, 2011 10:49 am
Well noted. I am so tired of oversized everything everywhere. I wish restaurants especially would get on board and serve a normal portion at a normal price. This is even seen with our food plates ... they have increased in size over the years and yet we are programmed to fill our plates and eat. There are companys out there now that make dinnerware and it has designs on it that show a normal portion.
Oct. 23, 2011 10:51 am
Very good point. We are taught to clean our plates, especially those of us who grew up with parents from the depression. Good call
Oct. 23, 2011 3:54 pm
Because of my gluten diagnosis this spring, we hardly ever eat out anymore (x-contamination is the concern) and have all lost more weight. Moving to Florida had an effect, too. We just crave lighter fare, and grill so much of what we eat.
Oct. 24, 2011 4:40 am
I had a huge appetite when I was mid-teens through mid-thirties and never got close to fat. If a restaurant served small portions, I would not return. In my late thirties I began to gain weight and I had no idea how to control it or myself. Fortunately, I was active enough that the weight never became a serious issue. Then came the late fifties and early sixties when cholesterol became a serious issue and I had to learn a whole new eating attitude. Now, with serious health issues in my history, proper diet and proper exercise are the keys that might allow me an extended lifespan. Was my early and carefree lifestyle worh the price I am paying now? I'll have to reflect on that and report back when I croak!
Oct. 24, 2011 5:27 am
We've been using the smaller plates s our regular plates for years. Congrats on the 65lbs - I have lost 48lbs myself by cutting out the extraneous sugar from my diet and by eating smarter carbs. Exercise has been a huge contribuotr too. And not to help hijack the comments but the chocolate fountain in those ads just plain scares me.
Oct. 24, 2011 1:30 pm
Mike - I used to be able to eat anything in sight, most likely b/c I was a very active teen. Swimming, speed skating, biking to the beach (great x-training for the skating), we were always doing something. Boy, was adulthood a shock! Luckily, my 4 grands are all outdoorsy, active types, so I think they'll be fine. Their Mom's a runner, one lives for flag football, one's a swimmer, on and on.
Oct. 29, 2011 2:21 pm
It is someting that you have to get used to, but it becomes a way of life and the benefits are great when you start seeing the results
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I have been a professional restaurant person for 30+ years. I started out as a dishwasher and worked my way up the ladder. No schooling except for hands on experience in locations around the USA. I am now starting my own business as a consultant and food writer.
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