Chefs in the USA are not interested in how many calories their clients' dishes have, as long as they look good and taste good. In fact, a survey of 300 chefs found that just 16% them thought calories were important - half of them said calories did not matter in the slightest.

The next time you go out for a meal in the USA remember that as far as watching your waistline and protecting your health is concerned, it is completely up to you - there will be no help from the Chef - most likely, he/she will just pile on the pounds for you. The survey found that as far as chefs are concerned, it is your responsibility - even though they admitted that large servings encourage people to overeat.

Barbara Rolls and team, Pennsylvania State University, gave out questionnaires to chefs at a culinary meeting in 2005 - they received 300 complete answers. Three-quarters of the respondents had a degree in culinary arts.

When asked what influences portion size:

-- 70% said 'presentation'
-- 65% said 'cost'
-- 52% said 'customer expectations'
-- A mere 16% said 'calories' mattered

The researchers found that most of the chefs' idea of a regular sized portion, was in fact, a large portion.

Comment by the Editor of blog

If two thirds of the US adult population are obese/overweight, I am sure many of them are trying to watch their calorie intake. It seems to me there is a sizeable market need that is not being met. A chef with an eye for business could make a killing by serving large, low calorie, well-balanced, tasty meals.

Dr. Barbara J Rolls, PhD
Department of Nutritional Sciences - The Pennsylvania State University

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