Portion Distortion and Public Perception: How Serving Size Guidelines are Over-Serving and Under-Serving the Consumer
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CitationPortion Distortion and Public Perception: How Serving Size Guidelines are Over-Serving and Under-Serving the Consumer (2003 Third Year Paper)
AbstractThis paper examines public perceptions regarding the serving sizes listed on the labels of packaged foods. The author conducted four surveys toward this end: 1) a survey of Brown University undergraduates in which students were asked to estimate the number of servings in series of different food containers; 2) a similar survey of New York City residents sorted by age, race and gender; 3) a survey of the ability of convenience store and supermarket employees to determine and explain the serving size data on packages; and 4) a survey of the ability of adults and children in low income neighborhoods to determine and explain the serving size data on packages. The paper also catalogues several of the problems with the current system of determining serving sizes including "portion distortion" (the relatively small size of servings compared to what people actually eat), the separate scales used by the FDA's food label and the USDA's Food Guide Pyramid, and the false but widespread belief that serving sizes are determined by the manufacturer. Several changes in the rules governing serving size are proposed from the conservative (printing "determined by the FDA" beside the serving size) to radical (eg. providing nutritional data for the entire package rather than per serving).
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:8852100
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