It's fitting, morbidly so, that this study was reported in the journal Obesity. It names culprits of corpulence: restaurants and customers.
"Many chefs serve portions of food that are two to four times the size recommended in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans," said a Clemson University food scientist who co-authored the study. "But they're driven in large part by customer expectations."
Of course. Who's going to order 3 ounces of strip steak and 2 ounces of pasta, as the USDA recommends for each of these foods?
Nearly half of 300 chefs surveyed said they serve 12 ounces of meat. Nearly a third serve 6 ounces of pasta; about 20 percent served 18 ounces or more of pasta.
Seventy-six percent of chefs surveyed "felt they were indeed serving regular-sized portions."
Fifty-eight percent said it was the customers' responsibility to regulate their consumption.
Competition was cited as a driving factor for more, more, more.
Interestingly, chefs over age 50 said they were more likely to serve smaller portions.
I'll say this about restaurant nutrition:
At culinary school, the one week devoted to nutrition was the week that the majority of my classmates played hookey, mentally and physically. My culinary school notebook is stuffed with 1,000 sheets of paper. I counted up my notes from nutrition week: nine pages. I have 25 pages on danish alone.