Difference between portion and servings
What is a portion?
A "portion" is the amount of food that you choose to eat for a meal or snack. It can be big or small—you decide.
What is a serving?
A "serving" is a measured amount of food or drink, such as one slice of bread or 1 cup (eight ounces) of milk. To get an idea of how big recommended serving sizes really are, check out the NHLBI Serving Size Card at http://hin.nhlbi.nih.gov/portion/servingcard7.pdf (PDF Format Download Adobe Reader). For help on using the Nutrition Facts label, visit the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Web site at http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/label.html.
Balancing your family's energy is challenging today because average portion sizes have grown over the past 20 years. It's challenging to find a small portion in a restaurant these days. The plate arrives and there's often enough food on it for two or even three people.
For eye-opening examples of how food portions have grown, check out NHLBI's Portion Distortion Web site at http://hin.nhlbi.nih.gov/portion/index.htm.
If you think your family needs more convincing about what has happened to their portion sizes, take the Portion Distortion Quiz (PDF Format, 637K, Download Adobe Reader). You can print it, along with the answer sheet.
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