Smaller portions keep menu prices down -- but people order more!

With food costs rising at a furious pace, restaurants are looking to avoid increasing their menu prices: by serving smaller portions. In addition, many chains are offering really small servings in an effort to lure in health- and budget-conscious consumers.

It's working to the extent that the small servings have quickly become big sellers, but it isn't making people any thinner. According to the USA Today, "Instead, people are using smaller dishes as an excuse to add to their orders, spending - and probably eating - just as much as before."

That's right! No pesky fun-sized dishes are going to interfere with our pursuit of the American Dream: the 42-inch waistline. But at least ordering smaller portions makes people feel healthier -- even if they order 7 of them.

I bet those are the same people who order 2,900-calorie cheese fries, and then wash them down with a Diet Coke.

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