It's summer, and San Francisco is filled with tourists. In line for coffee, I got to chatting with a visitor from Europe. I asked him what he found surprising about the United States.
The food, he told me.
Because it's so good, I asked, or because it's so bad?
No, he answered, because it's so much. Visiting the Midwest, he'd been shocked by portions in restaurants. 32-ounce steaks, 20 silver dollar pancakes, two-pound burritos. One meal could feed a family of four in his country, he told me. He had started ordering from the children's menu.
Listening, I quickly changed my order from a 31-oz Trenta to a 12-oz Grande. But looking around, I decided he had a point. With statistics showing half of Americans overweight, and 30% obese, maybe we are all stuffing ourselves silly. But if we're addicts to huge portions, restaurants are the enablers. A study analyzed 123 menu items from restaurants and found some contained more calories than the total daily amount for an adult.