Portion sizes of foods in the UK have spiralled “out of control” according to a new report.
The Portion Distortion report compared the portion sizes of 245 shop-bought foods with portion sizes of the same foods 20 years ago, and found that many had increased significantly.
Managing our weight is a balancing act – eating more than we need to can contribute to weight gain, an important risk factor for cancer and other diseases.
Gradual increases in portion size may mean that we are eating more than we think. For example, if you have a single digestive biscuit with your mid-afternoon cuppa every day, you are now eating 3,300 more calories every year than you would have been eating in 1993.
Making small changes can, over the long term, make a big difference to our waistlines and overall cancer risk. Did you know that maintaining a healthy weight is the best thing we can do to reduce our cancer risk, second only to not smoking?
Staying in shape is also a key way to reduce your risk of other diseases such as heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. Calculate your BMI to see if you are a healthy weight.
Tips to help control portion size
- Use a smaller plate – that way you can still fill your plate but you’ll be eating less.
- Avoid eating straight from the packet – measure out a serving into a bowl or onto a plate instead.
- Think about how much food you’re given when you eat out or ‘on the go’ – portions are often bigger than you really need.
- To avoid food waste, most restaurants will wrap up leftovers for you to take away.
- Share starters or desserts with a friend.
- Opt for smaller serving sizes of alcoholic drinks – alcohol is a serious source of hidden calories and directly increases your risk of cancer. Check out how many calories are in your favourite tipple with our Alcohol Calorie Calculator.
Find out what healthy portions look like with our portions poster.