I hadn’t realized that my serving sizes were getting smaller until my first return home from China around Christmas of 2005. I remember waking up and going into the kitchen to make some cereal. I pulled the box out and began to let the Honey Bunches of Oats fly! Then, I realized that filling the bowl half way was the same amount that filled my bowls in China. My portions had nearly halved while I was away.
Then, as the day went on, I realized that our plates had dwarfed the food I was putting on them. There was no way to fill the plate completely. At dinner, I watched my family eat and I decided that our servings are really big in America. Restaurants also use huge plates and a dinner at La Carreta (my family’s favorite Mexican place) was so big that I had a full lunch the next day. Two meals for $11 isn’t bad! One meal that is the size of two, unfortunately, is bad… and is the norm.
How did our portions get so big? Perhaps it is a chicken and egg story, but modern commentary agrees that the bigger your container, the more you fill it, and the more you eat. Take a look at my normal lunch portion which costs $1 at the university canteen. When I move back to the US, someday, I’m definitely going to buy smaller plates and bowls.