How Much Breakfast Cereal Do You Eat?
Cereal is one of those foods that are easy to overeat, because cereal bowls are of different sizes and we are accustomed to eating a bowl of cereal. Many bowls will hold two to three servings of cereal.
Penn State researchers found that people eat more breakfast cereal by weight, when flake size is reduced. When flakes are reduced by crushing, people pour a smaller volume of cereal into their bowls, but still take a greater amount by weight and calories.
The researchers reported that people have a hard time judging appropriate portions. The other challenge is the significant variations in volume that are due to the physical characteristics of foods, such as the size of individual pieces, aeration and how things pile up in a bowl. That adds another dimension to the difficulty of knowing how much to take and eat.
National dietary guidelines define recommended amounts of most food groups in terms of measures of volume such as cups. This can be a problem as recommended amounts have not been adjusted for variations in physical properties that affect volume.