WHY PEOPLE ARE GETTING FATTER – Eating more! “In 1970, the average American ate about 16.4 pounds of food a week, or 2.3 pounds daily. By 2006, the average intake grew by an additional 1.8 pounds a week.”
I know we’re eating more. We’re also moving less. And our food is richer.
Some of this is that food is so abundant. Another factor is the gourmet trend in society, making us think every meal and snack must be really good. That usually means sauce and candy coating and mints – extra calories, extra stuff. Another thing that adds to how much we eat is the amount of sweetening and other processing. It makes for convenience, while stimulating the appetite and leaving us with less ability to use all that food energy (calories). Then we have remote controls, video games and cell phones in our purses. We don’t even roll car windows anymore – press one button and they all go up or down at once if we like. That is, those who drive. Kids get cars for routine milestones as gifts sometimes rather than a first car’s representing adulthood, achievement and years of manual labor and saving. Ergonomic chairs ease us into a stationary way of sitting. We don’t have any reason to fidget and stretch anymore. We hardly move at all. Right now I’m talking to strangers while sitting in a chair, not walking in the weather greeting people in the street. Of course we all grow heavier every generation.
I agree with this to a certain extent, but not entirely. When I was a teenager, I used to come home from work and eat a HALF A MEATLOAF! I’m serious! My mother always used to have supper ready for me at 4:00 P.M.,because usually I had a ton of extracurricular activities, including a couple of hours of piano practice, alone with the homework load.
I would eat a half pound of meatloaf! And several glasses of milk (skimmed) and a huge serving of mashed potatoes, and canned corn and canned green beans. And then I would have dessert, usually several scoops of ice cream.
And I was a skinny mini! If I didn’t eat those huge meals, I would lose ten pounds in a week and my blue jeans would fall down!
I think the difference is that I was active. Many of my extracurriculars involved movement. I was on the school varsity volleyball team. I was involved with school plays and musicals. I ran and rode my bike to relax. I liked to go hiking in the woods with my boyfriend (who is now my husband). I played the piano, which is a good workout when you are practicing Beethoven and Chopin! I was constantly busy.
Also, we lived on a farm, and I had plenty of chores to do, hard, backbreaking chores that gave me rock-solid muscles. My arms looked like Schwarzenegger’s!
And we had no heat in our bedrooms in our farmhouse, so I had to burn a lot of calories just to stay warm!
I think this was the norm back in the 1970s when I was a teenager. Kids just didn’t gain weight.
But now everyone just sits around. I know I do. And we eat those huge meals that they serve at restaurants, and drink soda and eat chips, but we never burn it off.
I also think that in spite of the fact that we ate a fat-heavy diet when I was growing up, we didn’t really eat as much sweets, chips, and soda. My dad would buy ice cream. And my mother would usually make a cake or a batch of cookies once a week, meant to last for the whole week for a family of four.
So I think that the fats aren’t so bad. It’s the sugars that are packing on the pounds. A few weeks ago, the AMA released a statement saying that a Low Carb (i.e., low sugar) diet will result in more weight loss than a low fat diet.
So my husband and I are going back on South Beach diet TOMORROW!
Guilty. I plan to join Weight Watchers when school starts and I have an income again.