Innovation in portion control to treat obesity

On a recent trip to Paris I was told that the reason there are no fat Parisian women is because they understand portion control in their diet. Restaurants in France serve smaller portions. Nobody complains because … well … they’re in Paris, after all.

Here’s a typical American approach to portion control, from Dr. Mary Ellen Camire and Megan Blackmore writing in the latest edition of Food Technology magazine.

Rather than make the portions smaller, just fill the space with non-caloric ingredients or alter the mix of protein, fats, and fiber.


And there’s a study to prove it!

Before lunch, 28 lean men were given strawberry-flavored yogurt shakes whose volumes were altered by whipping in additional air. The men ate anything they wished for the rest of the day. Fullness was greater, and caloric consumption was 12% less, after the 600 mL shake was consumed compared to the 300 mL version.

Several products that apply this strategy are being marketed.

  • Quaker Weight Control instant oatmeal
  • Light & Fit Crave Control
  • Slim-Fast Optima shakes

Opportunities also exist to modify the satiating ability of coffee and tea by substituting “lighteners” for milk, which could be formulated to increase satiety.

2/25/07 11:57 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.