How much do you eat?

Are you eating more that you should? Explore some tips to keep your eating habits in check.

Foods such as fresh fruit and veggies are a few consumables that don’t have nutrition labels – have you ever wondered if there’s a point when you’re eating too much of them? Do you wonder if you are eating too much in general? According to the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Profiling Food Consumption in America, “Americans at the beginning of the twenty-first century are consuming more food and several hundred more calories per person per day than did their counterparts in the late 1950s (when per capita calorie consumption was at the lowest level in the last century). The aggregate food supply in 2000 provided 3,800 calories per person per day, 500 calories above the 1970 level and 800 calories above the record low in 1957and 1958.”

One cause of overeating can be attributed to the convenience of fast food – so many new chains of fast food have opened up, which is convenient for the fast pace and constantly changing nature of our daily lives; these restaurants have influenced how we eat and how much. Advertisers work hard at marketing products to us and our children that entice us to go out and buy them.  

Another cause of overeating is the mentality many of us developed in the home when we were children. I can recall my grandmother saying, “You better eat everything on that plate before you leave this table; we don’t have enough money to waste food.” Those statements have conditioned us to eat everything on our plates, even though we are full. It doesn’t help that when we go out to eat they are piling on the food and it all looks so yummy that sometimes you can’t resist. You have to learn how to have self-control, even when you eat.

Sometimes you may not know how much you are eating and how much you should be eating. Here are to tips to help you make that determination:

  • Team Nutrition, which falls under the USDA, created a visual reference to help determine how much of a particular food you should eat by referencing everyday objects to fit the size in ounces.
  • The USDA’s MyPlate guideline you help make healthy choices as it relates to eating and quantity.

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