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Public Health Nutr. 2010 Jun;13(6):852-7. doi: 10.1017/S1368980009992011. Epub 2009 Nov 16.

Small, medium, large or supersize: trends in food portion sizes in The Netherlands.

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Department of Health Sciences, VU University Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.



Larger food portion sizes lead to increased energy intake levels and might contribute to the current obesity epidemic. Only a very limited number of studies are available on the actual development of food portion sizes during past decades. The present study aims to reveal trends in portion sizes of some high-energy-dense food products during recent decades in The Netherlands.


The data were collected from manufacturers and from information found in professional journals, marketing and advertising materials, and on manufacturers' websites.


A number of trends in food portion sizes were observed. Larger sizes have been added to the portion size portfolio. The portion sizes of a number of products have also increased since their introduction, although this did not apply to all the products included. Finally, multi-packs have been introduced and the number of products within a multi-pack has also increased.


A trend towards larger portion sizes was observed, which is relevant to the public health debate regarding the prevention of overweight and obesity. It is recommended that developments in food portion sizes continue to be monitored over the coming years, and the effects of the newly introduced portion sizes on food intake be studied.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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