Quick “duh” hit

Special attention should be given to portion sizes, which have increased significantly over the past two decades (http://hin.nhlbi.nih.gov/portion/index.htm). Though there are no empirical studies to show a causal relationship between increased portion sizes and obesity, there are studies showing that controlling portion sizes helps limit calorie intake, particularly when eating calorie-dense foods (foods that are high in calories for a given measure of food). 

 

Source: The Good Ole USA Gov’ment 

Thanks, Einstein. Limiting caloric intake limits caloric intake. And the Obvious Award goes to…. 🙂 

However, even more telling was the line right before.  “Though there are no empirical studies to show a causal relationship between increased portion sizes and obesity, there are studies showing that controlling portion sizes helps limit calorie intake…” 

I.e., though fat people don’t eat more, if you don’t want to be a fat person, you shouldn’t eat as much. Set-point theory, anyone? Sure, you can lose weight by restricting your ‘caloric intake,’ but you’re not going to keep it off — otherwise there would exist a causal relationship between portion size and obesity. 

No kidding. 

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5 comments on “Quick “duh” hit

  1. anniemcphee says:

    Hilarious! Let me mention that our government is being criticized for not being tough enough on “obesity, gluttony and sloth” in its newest ads. Isn’t it bad enough the government makes ads? Jeeeeez. Why don’t they go back to doing nothing and let us all alone for once?

  2. vesta44 says:

    Yahoo health has an article today about Volumetrics for losing weight (and supposedly keeping it off, why am I skeptical?). Supposedly, if you swap high-calorie foods for low calorie foods that weigh the same, you’ll still feel like you’re full, but be getting fewer calories with the same volume of food. Sounds like the same old calorie restriction to me. Just another way of obsessing over what you’re eating. Count me out.

  3. queendom says:

    Supposedly, if you swap high-calorie foods for low calorie foods that weigh the same, you’ll still feel like you’re full, but be getting fewer calories with the same volume of food.

    vesta44 – not only is this a form of calorie restriction it is disproven bullshit. Yes, the volume of the food does play a role in when we feel satisfied, but it is only one of many factors. And I would bet that you get hungry faster after eating low calorie food. Seriously, our bodies’ self-regulatory mechanisms have evolved over a long, long time – how would it make any sense if high and low calorie foods of equal volume would leave you equally satisfied?

  4. summercannibal says:

    Neither the volumetrics thing or the portion size thing makes any sense with my personal experience. When I eat that horrible fat free yogurt that is half gelatin and half aspartame, I have to eat a ton to be full but when I eat full fat plain greek yogurt with a tiny bit of honey I literally eat a few bites and then I’m happy because the yummy wholesome whole food fats are really filling. As for portion sizes, I find that I’m so much better at intuitive eating when I couldn’t possibly finish what is in front of me. If someone serves me a scoop of ice cream in a dish I’ll usually eat the whole thing before I think about if I’m full, but if I eat out of the carton I usually have a few bites and then I’m done with ice cream because ice cream is really good but personally my enjoyment decreases exponentially pretty quick. I think that when it is in the dish I start to think that it is the amount that is meant to be eaten or something. Now, when I was dieting and before I learned about intuitive eating I would totally overeat at restaurants even when there was more food than I could handle… so maybe they are doing all their studies on people with diet history.

  5. caseyatthebat says:

    summercannibal, I have found exactly what you said to be true. When I obsessed over my weight and food intake, I would perfectly portion my meals, gobble them up and be searching for more. Restricting my Oreos or Chips Ahoy cookies to just three meant that I’d go through a bag in a day. I felt like I was constantly in search of food, counting the minutes till my next meal.

    Having more than I could possibly eat in front of me is like a warm security blanket, and I am free to simply eat what I am hungry for, knowing that I can always go back for more. As soon as I truly felt relaxed around food (which took years), I no longer felt the need to eat to the point of feeling so terribly over-full.

    Whenever I hear about portion size and restricting calorie intake, I have such an instant negative reaction – my shoulders tighten, my breathing becomes shallow, and I feel almost panicky, very fight-or-flight. I call it diet PTSD. I get chills when I think about how bad those times of restriction really were, and I know that I am very, very lucky that my disordered eating did not develop into something far more serious. I can’t imagine putting myself through that again.

    Great post, BL – thanks!

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