Portion Sizes of Ultra-Processed Foods in the United States, 2002 to 2021

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Objectives. To assess the US food industry’s response to calls from public health authorities to reduce portion sizes by comparing current with past sizes of selected examples of single-serve ultra-processed packaged and fast foods.

Methods. We obtained manufacturers’ information about current portion sizes and compared it with sizes when first introduced and in 2002.

Results. Few companies in our sample reduced portion sizes since 2002; all still sold portions of ultra-processed foods in up to 5-times-larger sizes than when first introduced.

Conclusions. Policies and practices focused on reducing portion size could help discourage the consumption of excessive amounts of ultra-processed foods. (Am J Public Health. 2021;111(12):2223–2226. https://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2021.306513)

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Lisa R. Young, PhD, RDN , and Marion Nestle, PhD, MPH The authors are with the Department of Nutrition and Food Studies, New York University, New York, NY. “Portion Sizes of Ultra-Processed Foods in the United States, 2002 to 2021”, American Journal of Public Health 111, no. 12 (December 1, 2021): pp. 2223-2226.

https://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2021.306513

PMID: 34878877