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When did supersizing meals start in the US?

America started supersizing meals around the same time as the obesity epidemic began. Initially, it was thought that supersizing came from creative marketing by fast food restaurants hoping to sell more food. However, researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill looked into foods such as hamburgers, burritos, tacos, French fries, sodas, ice cream, pie, cookies and salty snacks and found that between the 1970s and the 1990s, the portion sizes increased -- no matter if the people ate these foods at home -- or out at fast food restaurants. 

In the study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), the researchers reported that homemade burgers beefed up to 8.4 ounces in 1996 from 5.7 ounces in 1977; fast-food hamburgers grew to 7.2 ounces in 1996 from 6.1 ounces in 1977; at restaurants other than fast-food, hamburgers declined to 5 ounces in 1996 from 5.3 ounces in 1977. The U.S. Department of Agriculture counts two to three ounces of cooked lean meats a serving. And, extra ounces mean extra calories.

These scientists concluded that it may not just be only the type of foods we're eating causing the obesity epidemic. The fact that we’re eating such huge portions could say it all.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.