It’s no secret that Americans are engaged in a life-and-death battle with our own waistlines. And while the reasons behind our obesity crisis are many, one of the biggest factors is that we just eat too much. Over the last few decades, our serving sizes have ballooned–something that’s evidenced when they’re compared to the portions that individuals in other nations eat. And when our servings are so big that we still can’t eat it all, we throw it out.
Huge serving sizes are a reality in just about every facet of food consumption. In grocery stores, our packaged foods have swelled to the point where consumers become confused about how much of something they really should be eating. At restaurants, giant plates have become the norm–just check on Yelp to see how many reviewers grumble about a diner’s “measly portions.” In this recessed economy, “value” has become synonymous with “more food than anyone should ever eat, ever.”
Our giant serving sizes are also a contributing factor to America’s horrifying problem of food waste. According to a report out yesterday, we waste nearly half our food–most of which ends up in landfills. And much of that waste is generated because there’s just too much of everything. Cutting the size of packages and plates is a big step toward helping curb that.
Smaller serving sizes would also help cut down on waste in other ways; in the U.S., hundreds of thousands of tons of paper napkins, take-out cartons, and plastic utensils are thrown out each year.
Don’t believe it? Check out the infographic below to see just how super-sized our servings really are here in the U.S.–and how they stack up to those in other countries.