The serving-size gap between what the government recommends and what gets presented at restaurants has always been wide. But now, when it takes a forklift to hoist a burrito, it seems to be growing.
"Chain restaurants have helped dissolve any sense of perspective when it comes to what a reasonable serving of food is," said Bonnie Liebman, nutrition director for the Center of Science in the Public Interest.
Perhaps we need a refresher on correct serving sizes. Push away your trough, er, plate and take our quiz.
1. At Outback Steakhouse, a cooked ribeye tips the scales at 11 ounces and 1,190 calories. What's the USDA-certified serving size?
a) 8 ounces, 758 calories
b) 3 ounces, 330 calories
c) 2.3 ounces, 249 calories
2. That Starbucks chocolate-chunk cookie you buy on impulse when satisfying your caffeine needs is more than twice as large and caloric as the government's recommended size. What is the recommended serving size for a cookie?
a) 0.78 ounces, 79 calories
b) 3 ounces, 360 calories
c) 1 ounce, 125 calories
3. Panera's smoked ham-and-Swiss sandwich weighs in at nearly three times the size of the recommended sandwich. Just how massive and caloric is it?
a) 14 ounces, 700 calories
b) 17 ounces, 865 calories
c) 21 ounces, 1,031 calories
4. The humble bagel gets supersized, too, at bakeries such as Au Bon Pain. At 4 ounces and 300 calories, that's twice the size the FDA recommends. If you add 2 tablespoons of cream cheese, that adds how many calories?
5. Chipotle's bloated chicken burrito is 21 ounces, 970 calories and 2,120 milligrams of sodium. And that's if you hold the guacamole. How many calories come from the flour tortilla alone?
ANSWERS: 1: b; 2: c; 3: a; 4:c; 5: b