An overweight woman and a man during the Edmonton International Fringe Festival in Edmonton Alta., on Monday, August 15, 2011.
Credits: AMBER BRACKEN/EDMONTON SUN/QMI AGENCY
According to the study, out of Toronto's York University, people believe they are being careful with the portion sizes of meals, however many are over eating.
"What we found was that the way people estimate one serving is essentially how much they would normally eat at one time," said Professor Jennifer Kuk, of York's School of Kinesiology and Health Science.
The majority of participants in the study inaccurately thought they would need to increase their food consumption by approximately 400 calories to meet recommendations in Canada's Food Guide, Kuk said.
"This suggests we either need to change the size of a serving in the guide -- which has remained almost the same since 1977 -- or educate Canadians more about how much food they should be consuming in a day."
An eight ounce steak exceeds the Canada Food Guide's maximum daily allowance for meat, said Sharona Abramovitch, a former graduate student at the university's School of Kinesiology and Health Services.
Only half a cup of cooked pasta is one of the eight grain servings allowed per day for a man between the ages of 19 and 50.
The study looked at the eating habits of 145 people for the study which included white, black, and Asian participants.
The subjects were asked to select what they thought was the size of a serving and researchers compared the amounts to the Canada Food Guide.
People from all the ethnic groups misjudged the total number of servings they were eating in a day.
The participants underestimated the number of servings of fruit and vegetables, grain products and meat.
They overestimated the number of servings of milk and alternatives they were eating.
The research was funded by the Heart and Stroke Foundation.