by Ron Brown, Ph.D., author of The Body Fat Guide
"Ron Brown is a certified fitness trainer who doesn't have an inch of flab on his body. He'll tell you what you can do to become fit and trim too."
TALK TO AMERICA, Washington DC
A CUP is a standard
measurement consisting of eight ounces. As children, today's adults grew up
associating an eight-ounce cup with one serving of a beverage including milk,
juice, water, cola, etc. But the measurement of a cup today is no longer
restricted to eight ounces. Thanks to the desire to increase profits at the
expense of feeding the public harmful empty calories, food and beverage
producers and distributors have subtly and consistently changed standard serving
sizes of many items including soft drinks. As a result, children today are
likely to associate a normal one-cup serving of a soft drink with as many as 32
ounces...that's one quart of cola!
Research shows that people eat more food when larger portions are served to them. Morgan Spurlock explored the influence of fast-food marketing on the public's eating habits in his documentary "Super Size Me." Using marketing techniques such as increasing portion sizes, the food industry has conditioned our children into developing overeating habits which has contributed to the current obesity epidemic.
Ironically, when political action is proposed to regulate marketing practices that harm our children, many people cry, "Nanny State," and bellow that their personal freedoms are under threat. But such proposals do not interfere with personal consumption, which is a matter of personal responsibility. Along with personal responsibility, however, our society has the social responsibility to regulate a free-market system that profits from marketing harmful products. Public health is just as important to our social values as is private wealth, and a balance must be struck between the two.