Serving Size vs. Portion Size…

Understanding the difference between serving and portion size could mean the difference in consuming extra calories especially if you are concerned about overeating. A survey by the International Food Information Council found that only 49% of Americans understand the difference. Portion size is either the amount of food you choose to eat or are given to eat by an establishment. This can vary according to what each individual decides. One third of people surveyed confused the two terms. Serving size is a determined amount set on a food label which has been determined by the FDA for nutrition purposes. A serving size is usually a minimal amount of a particular food that contains a certain number of calories. Many unconsciously assume that a portion size is the number of calories listed on the label without reading what the company considers a serving size. As a result, you may be consuming 2 or 3 times the number of calories. Example, if a ½ cup of ice cream contains 300 calories and you assume a portion size is a cup you may innocently consume twice the number of calories. It is important to read your labels carefully. You may be surprised at how little a serving size actually is.