Portions of ready meals, pies and crisps have increased in size by 50% in the last two decades, according to the British Heart Foundation.
Increased portion sizes may have caused a surge in obesity in the UK
The Portion Distortion report from the British Heart Foundation compared the portion sizes of 245 products listed in the 1993 Food Standards Agency and the same foods sold today.
The Foods Standards Agency published data showing the “typical weights and portions sizes of foods eaten in Britain” in 1993.
The report found that some foods had almost doubled in size since 1993, including individuals shepherd’s pie ready meals that have increased by a 98% and stated portions of peanuts have increased by 80%.
Poor diets can contribute significantly to the risk of cardiovascular disease which is responsible for more than a quarter of all deaths in the UK each year, according to the BHF.
Other findings from the report show that on average:
- Individual chicken curry ready meals are 53% larger
- A portion of crisps from a family pack has increased by 50%
- Individual chicken pies are 40% larger
- Meat lasagne ready meals for one are 39% larger
- A portion of garlic bread is 30% larger
Chief Executive at BHF, Simon Gillespie, said: “Portions sizes in the UK are inconsistent and can be misleading and we need to take control. It’s vital we get portion sizes on products right because the more food people are presented with, the more they eat.
The report did find that some foods had decreased in size including vanilla ice cream and over chips and that different brands had huge variations between portion sizes.
For example, some manufacturers had increased their portion size to the 235g weight registered in 1993, but others had decreased their size.
Gillespie said: “The UK Government has not updated its information on typical portion sizes for 20 years and there is currently no legislation relating to portion sizes. It’s time for an urgent review so the portion size playing field is levelled and consumers can be helped to make healthier choices.”
Health insurance policies can include wellbeing programs to encourage you to stay fit and eat healthily which can lead to lower premiums as a result.
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