Portion Distortion

Understanding the difference between a serving size and a portion can be tricky. When dining on campus, it is important to know the difference so you do not overeat.

A serving size is a way to measure food. When looking at a nutrition label, the serving size is what you use to figure out how much of a certain nutrient is in one serving of food. For example, there may be 160 calories in a serving of fifteen potato chips.

A portion of food is the amount served at one time. A portion may be the amount of food a restaurant puts on your plate or how many chips you eat from the bag in one sitting. Remember, portion size is not always the amount that is recommended you eat all at once.

There are many ways to estimate portion sizes. The Portion Size Plate compares portion sizes to everyday objects. For example, 1 cup of yogurt equals the size of a baseball and 3 ounces of cooked meat equals the size of a deck of cards.

These comparisons do not always work when you are on campus. Instead, use your hand as a guide for portion control when dining on campus! Take a look at the infographic to learn how.


Eating the proper portions of food can help you cut back on calories and help stop you from gaining unwanted weight.

For more information about healthy dining on a college campus, visit my podcast and video pages.


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