Super Size Me

My latest column in The Cockermouth Post (March issue) is out:

How much food or drink is enough? Do you decide or do sellers tell you? When I’m travelling a long way, I like to stop for a cappuccino (healthy? no; they’re a weakness of mine and I have the British motorway system mapped out for places that do good coffee). I always have a bag of nuts in my handbag but sometimes fancy a bit of cake too (not healthy either but cake and coffee once a month probably won’t do me too much harm).

Here’s the problem; have you seen the size of the muffins they sell? When I was a girl my mum baked buns. A bun is just the right size for a snack. The average motorway muffin is about 4 times the size. If I ate one, I’d weave my way down the road with sugar intoxication before getting a nasty headache (not to mention the weight I’d gain). The same is true of most slices of cake sold in tea rooms and cafes these days. If they sold small portions, I’d often buy one. Invariably, I just do without.

Along with the nutritional down side, when you buy ready meals or takeaways you let the manufacturer decide the portion size and the relative proportions of proteins, fats and carbs. The drinks can be even more over-blown than the food with coffee and cola often coming in buckets.

We get so used to seeing what’s on offer, we become conditioned to think that it’s ‘normal’ and forget that actually much of what’s on sale is super-size.

Top tip: Stay in control; choose your own portion size.

Nice cup of tea and a home-baked bun.  Yum.

Advertisements