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   Oct 21

Food portions DOUBLE in size in two decades as charity warns supermarkets are ‘out of control’

A study by the British Heart Foundation compared portions to 1993

Looked at 245 products sold in Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s, and Morrison’s

Found they have doubled in the past 20 years and urge government to act

A chicken curry ready meal is now 53% larger and bagels are 24% bigger

Found people still confused about nutritional labelling and portion sizes

A study by the British Heart Foundation has shown that portions of food have doubled in the past 20 years

Britain’s supermarkets are ‘out of control’ when it comes to portion sizes according to a study by the British Heart Foundation (BHF).

Despite the deepening obesity crisis portion sizes continue to rise, and are now double the size they were in 1993.

An average chicken curry and rice ready meal is now 53 per cent larger than in 1993, and a shepherd’s pie meal is about double the size.

Crumpets and garlic bread are from 20 to 30 per cent bigger now, while an average bagel has increased in size by 24 per cent.

To gain a pound in weight, a person need only consume an additional 3,500 calories and the massive increase in portion sizes explains why so many people are unwittingly putting on excess pounds.

As well as fuelling the growing obesity problem , the BHF says that oversized food portions were also contributing to heart disease, which is currently the UK’s single biggest killer.

Portion sizes of 245 products sold in Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s, and Morrison’s were compared with portions sizes listed by the Food Standards Agency in a 1993 in the study, the Times reports.

The BHF has claimed that the oversized portions are damaging the health of the nation and has urged both the Scotish and Westminster governments to take urgent action to curb the proportions of food sold in supermarkets.

Despite the new regulations over labelling of food which aim to make it easier for consumers to make informed choices over what they eat, the study showed that many are still confused.

ASDA was one of the four major supermarkets which had it’s portion sizes investigated in the study, along with Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons

Bagels have increased by 24 per cent in the last 20 years, while a curry ready meal is 53 per cent bigger

The rules stipulate that nutritional information must be clearly displayed on the front of packaging, using a ‘traffic light’ colour code and showing the salt, fat, sugar and caloric content of 100g of the product.

The BHF surveyed 140 people and many reported still being unsure about the content and correct portion sizes of their food.

Simon Gillespie, chief executive of the BHF says of the findings: ‘We urgently need a government review of portion sizes in the UK,’

‘We are calling on supermarkets and manufacturers to take their share of responsibility for how much we eat.’

Portion sizes: What SHOULD you be eating?

One portion of bread is considered as just a single slice

Starchy foods – 8 to 10 portions a day

One portion:

One slice of bread

Half a baked potato

Half a pitta bread

Half a scone

Two small boiled potatoes

Meat and fish and protein – 2 to 3 portions a day

One portion:

Lean meat- the size of a deck of cards (75g cooked)

Fish – the size of a cheque book (75g oily fish or 150g white fish)

Eggs – 2 boiled eggs

Baked Beans- five tablespoons or half a can

Dairy – 3 portions a day

One portion:

Milk – 200ml

Hard cheese- size of a match box (30g)

Yogurt – 150ml or a small pot

Fruit and Vegetables- at least 5 portions a day

One Portion:

Medium fruit – 1 apple, pear or orange etc

Small fruit- Two kiwis, plums, satsumas or clementines etc

Salad leaves – about a dessert bowl full

Vegetables- 3 heaped tablespoons of carrots, pea, broccoli etc

Source: Bupa.co.uk

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2469033/Food-portions-double-size-decades-charity-warns-supermarkets-control.html#ixzz2iKkIRsMK

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