The Portion Teller

Joyce Hendley, M.S.

The Portion Teller

Smartsize Your Way to Permanent Weight Loss

By Lisa R. Young, Ph.D., R.D.

(Morgan Road Books, 2005; $20)

For anyone planning to start the new year by going on yet another weight-loss diet, The Portion Teller might be just the right counterstrategy. Its practical approach focuses less on what to eat and more on how much. "Expanding portion sizes is the primary reason that we are facing an obesity epidemic," declares author Lisa Young, a nutrition professor at New York University.

As a Ph.D. student in the 1990s, Young was the first to notice-and document-the shocking growth of portion sizes served in America, and her findings are well known: soda cups the size of rain barrels, bagels equivalent to five slices of bread. Her eating plan combats this trend with "smartsizing"-developing portion-size awareness with plenty of imaginative, memorable visuals (one salad dressing serving is half a shot glass; one pasta serving is half a baseball). Practical advice and fascinating-if sobering-reading.

-Joyce Hendley