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From trucks to televisions, diamonds to fake breasts, it seems that for Americans bigger is better. Size is equated to wealth. A house with a pool is nice, but a mansion with a pool is nicer.

Over-consumption is almost a birth-right; even mass quantities of food have become a status symbol, one that could be playing a role in rising obesity rates.

According to research from the HEC Paris business school, participants believed those who ordered larger food portions were from a higher social class than those who ordered smaller portions.

However the studies found that ordering larger sizes was more common among those from a lower socioeconomic group.

This idea that size is equal to wealth may be a major factor in growing obesity rates in the U.S. and around the world.

The amounts of calories added by super-sizing an order are startling. A 12-ounce Salted Caramel Mocha Frappuccino with whip cream from Starbucks contains 330 calories while the 20-ounce contains 550 calories. That’s just breakfast.

Although it appears trendy when famous people parade around New York City or Los Angeles with over-sized glasses and towering coffee cups, the calories and caffeine are ridiculously high.

Subway is another eatery where the seemingly healthy can turn into calorie overload with an upgrade in sizing. A six-inch Spicy Italian sandwich on wheat bread with only lettuce, tomatoes, onions, green peppers and cucumbers is 480 calories.

It states on the Subway nutrition guide to double the amount of calories for a foot long sandwich. So that’s approximately 960 calories for a foot-long Spicy Italian sandwich with only vegetables, no cheese, no condiments.

Those examples are just a small sample of chains and restaurants whose menus contain extremely large portion sizes that tempt people with low prices.

An article in Huffington Post UK edition even pointed out, “Those who order grande lattes or super-size their food portions don’t necessarily have bigger appetites,” alluding to the fact that we just want to impress people with our jumbo portions.

Just because you can eat huge amounts of food, doesn’t mean you should. Urging moderation is becoming more and more important in our consumer culture.

This playground philosophy of whoever brought the most food for lunch is the cool kid needs to stay in elementary school because it is hurting our health.

It’s not difficult to order smaller portions; in fact it saves a lot of money. Most fast-food places offer kids meals that are probably closer to the portions adults should be eating.

There’s also dollar menus that offer single, and usually, smaller items for just a buck.

That doesn’t mean go order 19 Jack in the Box tacos, because I know you’re all guilty. It means to moderate your food intake, something people have been saying for decades.


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