You may have noticed the new snack portion packs appearing in your supermarket. Companies are scrambling to bring out their version of the newest weapon in the diet wars -- 100 calorie snacks.
The concept isn’t new. Women’s magazines have been listing 100 calorie appropriate snacks for dieters for awhile now. But then you had to piece together your own 100 calorie versions from the larger packs. Now you can just buy the box full of individual pre-measured servings.
I’ve tried several of these treats and find them to be good and convenient. The Doritos, the Wheat Thins and others provide smaller versions of their chip size in the 100 calorie packs, but they taste the same. One of my favorites is the 100 calorie version of Hostess cupcakes. I hadn’t eaten these childhood favorites for decades, always worried about how many fat calories were lurking in the fudge icing and white creamy center. But with the smaller versions, I can eat three mini versions of the cupcakes (which traditionally come in a two serving pack, yawsa!) and count that as only 100 calories. Not bad for an afternoon snack attack.
Coca Cola and other beverages have begun producing 100 calorie 8-oz. cans of soft drinks. Again, they look very small compared to their 12 ounce cousins but when poured into a glass, there’s enough to nicely fill up a tall glass of ice and satisfy your thirst. Face it, we all drink every last bit of the 12 ounce version even if we are tired of it or it has gotten warm, imbibing 40 extra calories we could do without.
I hope the 100 calorie packs are only the beginning of a campaign to reduce portion sizes in the country as a whole. It still amazes me when I am served three chicken breasts for a dinner entrée when one would be a “normal” serving. And that’s after eating unlimited bread and salad!
We talk a lot about the causes of adult and childhood obesity, but I think a lot of it stems from the fact that we have lost complete track of how much we should eat. If we let restaurants tell us, we will continue to fill out oversized chairs and airplane seats.