My wife has made me fat. I cannot tell a lie. I have gained roughly 30 pounds of flab since my happy day back in 1998. I am sure a portion of the blame can be laid at the feet of my wonderful mother-in-law who seemed to think that early into the marriage I was too thin and kept offering me ham sandwiches! I accept that, as I age as badly as a two dollar bottle of wine, that I will never return to my pre-marriage washboard abs, firm muscles and my obviously very poor memory.
In the 1950s, according to the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) adults average 26 pounds more than they did in the 1950s and not only do they tell us that but they have some great examples of why this may be.
A cup of soda in the 1950s would be 7 oz in size. Today you are looking at a 42 oz cup. That is 6 times the size. Put it another way. A 330 ml can of Coke in the 1950s, if it had grown the same amount would be 1980 ml. That is nearly the size of a two litre bottle of coke. Feeling bloated yet? There’s more!
Burgers and fries, it makes your mouth water just to think of them. A burger that looks like a burger, not something that was flung together at a fast food drive through that bears little resemblance to the burger on the menu. Both have grown a lot slower in size that the soda, only 3 times in size, but since they are being consumed there must be a large demand for such sizes or so you are lead to believe!
A quick flick around the websites of the fast food dealers in town shows just why people are consuming more than they used to.
McDonalds is offering any size soft drink for only a dollar. Any size! Why get a small when you can get a large for the same size? We all want to feel as if we got a good deal and surely buying bigger for the same size as smaller is a good deal! The website also mentions the new smoky BBQ bacon Angus Third Pounder! Need I say more?
Let’s move down the road to Burger King where their website advertises the Maple BBQ Whopper! Don’t forget Poutine when you are ordering! To be fair to Burger King they do offer a link on their front page to Nutrition. Of course it is linked with their Menu so customers will be distracted by the misleading images of attractive food.
Walking back, or rather driving because no one wants to walk anymore, down the road we come to Kentucky Fried Chicken, or KFC to those in the know! The iconic Colonel logo looks warm and inviting, you just know you want to eat there. On the front page of their website sits the BBQ Bacon Wrapstar! It must be the season for BBQ Bacon! Two mini breast fillets, bacon, cheese, everything you need to feel full to bursting! Want to see just how (un)healthy the food you are eating is? Well you have to look around to find the link and then, rather than actually simply reading it on the screen, you have to download a PDF file. Nothing like making it easy to get the information you want!
These are just three of the fast food places in town that offer much more for just a little more. It isn’t about portion control, it’s about flavour, and spicy, and bacon. Getting a good deal by playing cents more for a lot more food or drink. Fast food aren’t the only ones forcing more food down our throats, restaurants everywhere help you pile on the pounds.
Think of the size of the plates at your favourite restaurant, and now think of the size of those in your kitchen sink, waiting to be washed, which is why you are eating out tonight anyway! Not the same size are they? Drinks glasses are bigger two. Even the ‘healthy options’ on the menus are oversized. Bigger plates make the portion sizes seem smaller so we don’t think about how much we are truly consuming.
You can’t blame companies for trying to sell you more, they want our money after all, but why hasn’t the consumer, me and you, realized that there is now shame asking for a small, ignoring the offer of ‘fries with that’ and taking a little control of our diets and lives?