British Nutrition Foundation - Why reduce portion sizes?
To tackle obesity, we’ve got to think about how much people are eating as well as what they are eating. It’s been estimated that reducing our exposure to large portion sizes could lower our calorie intake by up to 16%. This has been clearly recognised by Public Health England - reducing portion sizes is a key feature of its sugars reformulation strategy for manufacturers, retailers and the out-of-home sector.
For the food industry, it’s important to understand what consumers want from portion size information and how they might react to different sizes when choosing foods and drinks. This is particularly relevant for some snacks as these can be the high in salt, fat and/or sugar which we’re encouraged to eat less of, and are likely to be pre-portioned, meaning the portion size provided can represent a ‘normal’ amount to consume in one sitting for a consumer.
Some countries include portion size information for consumers as part of their food based dietary guidance, but in the UK we only have portion size guidance for certain foods. The British Nutrition Foundation is currentlydeveloping a resource on portion sizes, which aims to complement the Eatwell Guide and help consumers put healthy eating advice into practice. This should be published later this year.
Portion size is a growing priority for public health and one where the food industry can be an integral part of the solution.