Evil Genius Woman, Thrifty Mom's Diet progress slider

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

And don't forget to supersize that ...

Interesting and startling article on how recipes in cookbooks have increased their portion sizes.

"The study identified the trend in numerous cookbooks, but it focused on American kitchen icon "Joy of Cooking," first published during the '30s and regularly updated with new editions since then, most recently in 2006.

Of the 18 recipes published in all seven editions, 17 increased in calories per serving. That can be attributed partly to a jump in total calories per recipe (about 567 calories), but also to larger portion sizes.

Only the chili con carne recipe remained unchanged through the years. The chicken gumbo, however, went from making 14 servings at 228 calories each in the 1936 edition, to making 10 servings at 576 calories each in the 2006 version.

Most excess calories in the American diet still come from food eaten outside the home, says Marion Nestle, professor of nutrition and food studies at New York University. But she says the study is yet another illustration of how accustomed people are to eating ever increasing quantities of food.

And changes in "Joy of Cooking" have been going on for a while. Increases in overall calories per recipe have been gradual, but portion sizes tended to jump, first during the '40s, again during the '60s, and with the largest jump in the 2006 edition.

The first significant signs of restaurant portion inflation didn't show up until the late '70s, says Wansink.

Lisa Young, an adjunct nutrition professor at New York University, had similar findings in a 2002 study that compared the book's brownie recipe from the '60s and '70s editions to the recipe from the 1997 edition.

"Same recipe. Same pan. But in the '60s and '70s it yielded 30 brownies," she says. "In the 1997 edition it yielded 15."

What is up with America?  Why do we eat so much?  What started us conditioning our children to eat huge portions?  Do you now that many candy bars, soft drinks, bagged crisps, etc are actually 2 or more servings?  So you read that comforting calorie number but then proceed to down the entire multiple serving item.

Is it America's love of HUGE in general taking over?  Bigger is better?  Ginormous SUVs, Elaborate, enormous, space-wasting houses for families of four who don't even spend much time there?  "Lather rinse repeat" when you only need to wash your hair once, and inch-long globs of toothpaste when you only need a pea-sized dab?


*Blog title is a line from Weird Al Yankovic's Grapefruit Diet from his Running with Scissors
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Blogger water said...

I like your blog, lots of fun. I haven't been able to search your blog to see if you've read Taubes. Also, can I subscribe RSS? Sorry, will try to be more tech-savvy soon!
America doesn't quit eating because carbs will never hit the satiety switch. You never think you're full. That's why they are so great for fattening livestock. Taubes explains this, but it is a dense read. Some great videos online though. The Sugarettes book is a good one too.

February 23, 2009 at 8:48 AM  

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