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Can You Resist Eating What You See?

If you eat too much fattening food one day, can you be good and eat less the next day? The answer is probably no for most people. Eating too much can easily lead to over-weight or even obesity that can in turn put people at risk of heart disease.

Large food portions, such as super size fast-food meals, are always blamed as culprits in the dramatic rise in the obesity rates in United States. 64 percent of Americans are considered to be either overweight or obese.

A study reported in 2005, at a conference of North American obesity researchers in Vancouver, Canada, that when people are offered large meals, they will tend to eat them day after day. The researchers tracked the eating habits and energy intake of nearly 2 dozen men and women over 11 days, making it one of the longest studies of its kind. People would consistently eat more when offered large meals, except in the case of vegetables, according to the study.

Another study presented to the recent annual meeting of North American Association for the Study of Obesity (NAASO) found that for snack food, it may not be the size of the bag that determines how much people eat. Comparing consumption of normal and larger amounts of snacks such as potato chips, the researchers found that people would eat the larger amount available if it was presented in one large serving or smaller individual increments. If a person is given a greater amount of food, a greater amount is consumed.

A third study released recently found that the link between overeating and availability of larger amounts of food in a meal may start in children as young as 2. But the researchers also found that children who tended to eat too much were less likely to do it when they are allowed to serve the food themselves.

Availability of larger portions is not the only thing pushing the increase in obesity. When people started out massively overeating because portions are larger, and things get activated in the brain and liver that fuel the upward movement in body weight.

Experts admitted that it is difficult to convince American to limit how much they eat because of the convenience of large portions at fast-food outlets and the financial attraction of buying low-priced food in bulk in stores. People like value. Perhaps, something must be done to shift people away from this value way of thinking of simply getting the most calories for the least dollars, to value in terms of health.

A recent survey by food-service company Aramark Corp, however, found that a majority of consumers would like restaurants to offer half-size portions on menus and more information on the nutritional content of the meals. Perhaps, people have finally begun realizing the importance of healthy eating.



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