I think I’ve found out why more Americans are obese than in any other developed country. It’s not portion sizes – it’s portion naming.
People generally don’t like to rock the boat – they like to conform. This shouldn’t really be a surprise to most. It also shouldn’t be much of a surprise that restaurants like to up-sell, which means to make you choose something larger than normal for a little extra money.
So what this means is that given the option of a small, medium or large, people wanting to conform or just to get the average meal would pick the medium, without even looking at things like calories, or the sheer bulk of the food.
So my proposal to end the obesity epidemic is to rename the sizes to normal, fatty and uberchubba lardball.
Here’s another interesting post I found on Starbucks’ choice of naming. They say that the smallest size being called “tall” might make the consumer think more about the name and less about the calories or cost. They also suggest that “grande” might make people choose what they think is a more grand beverage.