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Eye-opening photos show the recommended portion sizes of your favourite snacks

Portion control can be hard.

Ideally, we’d eat intuitively – eating as much as we need to when we feel like it. But for most of us, food isn’t simply fuel. Food is comfort, joy, community. We snack on stuff that makes us feel good and we eat whether we’re hungry or not.

For the most part, serving size only really matters if you’re trying to decide how many ingredients you need to make something, how many mouths you can feed with a certain recipe or food item, or if you’re wanting to reduce body fat.

If you’re not interested in being told how much of something you should eat, it’s cool. But if you do want to know what an official serving size of your favourite snacks actually looks like, buckle up because you’re probably going to be in for a bit of a shock.

A new study by PoundToy has found that portion sizes tend to be way smaller than most of us think – and that could explain why so many of us end up overeating.

It claims that a standard 500ml bottle of Coke actually contains two servings – despite how easy it is to swing the whole thing as part of a meal deal.

The recommended serving of Pringles is just 13 crisps while one portion of Cadbury’s Dairy Milk is five cubes. Just 10 Giant Buttons, four segments of a Terry’s Chocolate Orange or 16 Smarties make up a single serving.

And it’s not just portions of chocolate that seem to be ludicrously small.

Bags of Monster Munch are 68g…when a portion is just 30g. One serving of Quavers is a quarter of a bag while a 50g grab bag of Walkers is over 1.5 times the recommended serving.

One portion of fizzy drink is 250ml – half the serving of a standard ‘single-serving’ bottle.

So clearly, if many of us are overeating, it’s down to the packaging of these foods rather than our unmasked greed. If companies only recommend we drink half a bottle of Fanta, why not sell 250ml servings? And why make bags of crisps so much bigger too?

Perhaps it’s because if they advertised just how much fat, salt, sugar or calories were in an actual bag or bottle, fewer people would buy them.

Ultimately, you want to consume in moderation. It’s not a good idea to rehydrate with Coke every day or polish off a tube of Pringles on the regular but it’s totally unrealistic to suggest we only eat five pieces of Haribo Tangfastics or four jelly babies. If fat loss is a goal of yours, it might be useful to know a little more about portion sizes but if it’s not, it’s probably not worth losing too much sleep over.

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