SharingSharing meals

Let’s share instead of having whole items in meals in the family or other settings-A practical option to reduce food intake to maintain weight

Food and beverage types (solid, semi-solid, liquid), the number of items served per day (breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, etc.), forced eating (culture, situation, environments, etc.), portion sizes to buy in the market or shops and consume at a time, family compositions (single or joint family), number of family members, purchasing power, etc. all determine one’s availability and accessibility to food for consumption. These also determine the amount as well as the composition of food consumed per meal or an entire day. So, it may be a good option to share food items to reduce the portion size consumed for those who want to maintain body weight as individuals or groups. It may also help one to get diversified food items with reduced quantity daily to balance their diet.

For example, you may have limited capacity to buy food and beverages. So, you bought a piece of cake or a bottle of sweet drinks, etc. If there is more than one member in your settings, then sharing reduces the amount consumed. The more the number of sharing the less intake is possible for each of you.

Another example, you may have limited or enough capacity to buy an adequate number of fruits for each member. In this case of limited capacity, if you buy fruits of diverse types that may not be enough to serve one fruit to each member but that may be enough to share with family members as cut pieces or mixed fruits served. This results in reduced consumption of diversified fruits. On the other hand, if you buy more fruits, single or diversified types, than the total number of family members, then you may not need to share fruits. In addition, you may have options to enjoy diverse types of whole fruits. As a result, there is a fair chance to consume more fruits as well as less chance of diversified fruits due to an individual’s capacity to consume the number of fruits served.

Sharing items may help one to avoid forcing himself or herself to consume the whole items to prevent spoilage or discard of that food bought occasionally or regularly. In addition, family members may have options to enjoy the preferred items of other family members. Thus, the daily and monthly food expenditures will be reduced. Food waste will also be minimized.

Nowadays, we are very much anxious about the nutritional status of our kids who are very much exposed to digital devices. Obesity and overweight are increasing gradually. So, focusing attention on food items consumed as well as reducing exposure to distracting objects is very much needed to develop healthy food habits and choices among children and other family members. In addition, sharing attitudes may develop among kids.

So, to improve individual and family food and nutritional profile as well as food intake environment sharing food items instead of having whole may be a good option for different settings. Let’s try to build and maintain proper nutritional status by cooperating with each other in different settings like an office, a school, travel time, social gatherings, etc.

Weight Management | Learn Nutrition Online (

If you are interested to learn more, you can visit related articles using the following links:

The Power of Sharing a Meal (

Sharing meals: promising nutritional interventions for primary health care including nursing students and elderly people | BMC Nutrition | Full Text (

Food Portions: Choosing Just Enough for You – NIDDK (


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By Md. Khurshidul Zahid, Ph.D.

Md. Khurshidul Zahid Ph.D. is an Associate Professor at the Institute of Nutrition and Food Science (INFS) of The University of Dhaka (DU) of Bangladesh. He has completed his Ph.D. in Nutritional Sciences from the Department of Nutritional Sciences at Texas Tech University (TTU), USA. He was a finalist in the Emerging Leaders in Nutrition Science Competition organized by the American Society of Nutrition (ASN), Experimental Biology (EB) meeting held in Boston in 2015. He was also awarded a gold medal by “Professor Dr. Quazi Salamatullah trust foundation” of INFS, DU in 2005.

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