sealPurdue News

October 10, 2002

Purdue students to weigh the cost of super-sized food orders

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The Student Wellness Office at the Purdue University Student Health Center is offering an interactive program to increase awareness of the size of food portions.

"Super Size It? Weigh the Cost!" will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 24, in the 24-hour lounge of Earhart Hall. During the program, students will estimate serving sizes of various foods displayed. The estimated sizes are then compared to actual USDA recommended sizes.

Program administrator Sue Abney, a registered dietitian and nutrition education coordinator at the Student Wellness Office, says the program will help students better estimate how much food they need to support their activity levels.

"This program is a perfect fit for students," Abney says. "Now is the ideal time for them to start making healthy choices that will affect them for the rest of their lives."

Abney says serving sizes have increased dramatically during the past 30 years.

"Studies show that a typical meal at an ordinary restaurant has 1,000 calories, and that's without the dessert or appetizer," Abney says. "One of the first things people from other countries notice when they come to the United States is the large portions served in restaurants. And food is available everywhere, all the time."

Abney adds that an obsession with "super-sized" and "bigger value" meals leads many people to eat too much food at one time.

"Currently more than 50 percent of adults in the United States are overweight, and one is five adults is obese," Abney says. "Becoming more aware of recommended portion sizes may help individuals control the amount of food and calories they eat and perhaps even lose weight."

The program, co-sponsored by University Residences, is free and open to the public.

CONTACT: Sue Abney, (765) 494-1716,; Kendra Brenner, dietetics intern and program co-author, (765) 494-2482.

NOTE TO JOURNALISTS: The media are welcome to cover the program. Contact Richard Clark, director of Residential Life, at (765) 494-1000, to make arrangements.

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

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