The Asbury Perspective

Portion Distortion and the Older Waistline

Posted in: Aging Well

Everyone knows our nation’s portion sizes have undergone pretty significant distortion in recent decades.

But, the plain truth is that when you eat out at most restaurants, your plate holds enough for two people. In fact, what many restaurants are serving today under a “Light Fare” section is the proper portion size for adults. You can see how food sizes- and calories - have changed by viewing the photos in the gallery below.

This trend toward oversize portions is particularly troubling for those 40 and up. As we age, we lose lean body mass, which is basically everything in your body excluding fat. Beginning at age 40, your lean mass shrinks 8 percent each decade. At age 70 and up, the rate of loss almost doubles to 15 percent each decade. Couple that with less movement and the result can quickly become unwanted pounds.

Meanwhile, we need to get the same amount of nutrients. This means finding a way to nourish our bodies for less calories. Multi-vitamins are great, but food is still the best way for our bodies to take in vitamins, fiber and minerals. The key is choosing nutrient-rich, low-fat  foods. A good examples is skim milk, which has the same nutrients as whole milk but far fewer calories.

So next time you’re dining out, order light or split an entrée. You’ll feel better and save a few bucks!




Amy Burhenn

Submitted by Amy Burhenn

Amy Burhenn, RD, LDN, is dietician with Springhill’s ForestView Health Care Center. Springhill is a continuing care retirement community in Erie, Pa. Amy is passionate about nutrition and aging.

Related Entries

No related entries for this post.