Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Just How Big Is Your Morning Bowl Of Cereal?

A recent New York Times article touched on possible new FDA guidelines requiring serving sizes to accurately reflect the amount of food served. Although this issue was brought to the table in 2005 amid concerns of sodium and trans fat intake, the Obama administration has revived its efforts to make changes.

When you look at a box of Honey Nut Cheerios (a relatively healthy choice by some standards), you will see listed under Nutrition Facts, amount per serving: 110 calories. Although this number seems low in comparison to many food options, this caloric count is deceiving because the serving size is listed as a mere ¾ of a cup. When the average breakfaster pours a bowl of cereal, he can serve himself double, triple, or even quadruple the serving size. In order to avoid these misleading nutritional facts, the FDA is now looking to bring serving sizes for foods like chips, cookies, breakfast cereals and ice cream into line with how Americans really eat.

Revamped serving sizes, combined with more prominent labeling, could result in a greater sense of public caution about how much we are actually eating and be another weapon against the increasing obesity epidemic in our country.

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