Harvard Women's Health Watch

Keeping portions in proportion

Increased portion sizes have paralleled the rise in overweight and obesity in the United States. It's time to get a fix on how much we're serving ourselves.

Most of us worry about our weight, and personal appearance is not the only reason for concern. Excess body fat has profound metabolic consequences, putting us at risk for heart disease, diabetes, stroke, cancer, and possibly depression. Nonetheless, the prevalence of obesity — a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more — continues to rise in this country. 33% of American adults are obese, compared with 15% in the late 1970s. More than 60% of women are overweight or obese.

To continue reading this article, you must login.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »