August 14, 2008

One Size Does Not Fit All

Walking around New York City's West Village yesterday, I came across one of local smoothie chain Juice Generation's branches.

The establishment looked pristine, and many of the offerings sounded delicious.

I walked in, figuring a fruit-based beverage would hit the spot on a hot August day.

Except for one problem. Their smoothies are available in just one size -- 24 ounces.

I was in the mood for a light, refreshing drink -- 12 ounces would have been perfect.

Why is the "standard" size equivalent to three cups' worth? Whatever happened to having a choice? Why can't I opt for a small, medium, or large?

As a result, a peanut butter and banana smoothie (which would clock in at a reasonable 260 calories for a 12 oz serving) is only available in a much heftier 520 calorie package.

We all know too well (mainly from Brian Wansink's research) that when food -- or beverages, in this scenario -- is in front of us, we finish it, regardless of how large the portion is or how hungry we truly are.

Ordering a 24 ounce and throwing half of it away was out of the question, and since I wasn't planning on being home for another 2 hours, there was no chance of saving the rest in the fridge for the next morning.

It's a real shame, too, because in many ways this place is a cut above the rest -- their smoothies are syrup and puree free, as much of the fruit as possible comes from local farms, and they are well-known for always passing food safety and health inspection checks with flying colors.

1 comment:

Becky said...

Hi Andy,

I'm an avid visitor to your homepage - love your no nonsense approach to nutrition (and you have the education background to support your claims).

Anyways, I must admit that I was a little surprised when I visited your site tonight and couldn't find anything on Micheal Phelps or more specifically his much talked about 8000-10000 calorie a day diet. Yes, he is an athlete who trains 5 hours a day and probably burns calories just getting dressed in the morning (due to his muscle mass). But this "olympic phenomenon" could choose better/healthier choices than his daily consumption of 2 fried egg sandwiches, 2 pizzas, 2 ham sandwiches on white bread (the list goes on). Yes he is a mean lean calorie burning machine, but can't these poor diet choices still lead to potential health risks such as high cholesterol. Or what about his sugar levels with all those large portions in one meal? And doesn't his eating habits give substance to the public notion out there that you can eat whatever you want as long as you're exercising.
Just curious what your thoughts on the subject are.