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Train your eyes to calculate portion size

We are a nation suffering from portion distortion. Need proof besides our expanding waistlines? Starbucks' new megasized "trenta" is 31 ounces. That's slightly more than the capacity of the adult stomach.

The supersizing of American portions has been going on for years, and nutrition experts urge us to cut the lion's share to kitty size by learning how much is too much. Because we are unlikely to stuff our purses and pockets with measuring cups and spoons, we must train our eyes.

Reality may be quite shocking for folks used to gobbling half-pounders and overflowing plates of pasta. Look at your computer mouse. That's how big a baked potato should be. Next time you cradle your smart phone, think of it as a grilled steak. That's the 3- to 4-ounce portion of meat you're supposed to be eating at one sitting.


Conventional wisdom says that a baseball equals 1 cup and a tennis ball about a half. But who's playing baseball and tennis anymore, unless it's on the Wii? (Oh, and the Wii controller is roughly a double portion of meat.)

Here we update those old portion equivalency charts for a gadget-hungry generation. You'll never look at your iPod nano the same way again.

Janet K. Keeler, Times food and travel editor

• iPod nano: 1 ounce of chocolate

• first-generation iPod shuffle: 1 ounce of cheese

• smart phone: 3 ounces of chicken, meat or fish

• one side of headphones: 1 cup of cereal, soup, vegetables or cut-up fruit

• pedometer: ¼ cup of raisins or other dried fruit

• small thumb drive: 1 tablespoon of salad dressing, sour cream, mayonnaise

• AC power adapter: ½ cup ice cream or frozen yogurt

• two earbuds: 1 teaspoon of olive oil or peanut butter

• CD: 1 slice of bread

• computer mouse: 1 baked potato

Train your eyes to calculate portion size 03/07/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 9, 2011 11:32am]
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