Researcher Links Obesity, Food Portions

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by eyelikeart, Jan 4, 2004.

  1. eyelikeart Moderator emeritus


    Jan 2, 2001
    Metairie, LA
    This is a highly interesting article I've been keeping up with over the last week or so. I've read so much on this topic, and it never ceases to amaze me the way we were here in the U.S.

    The most interesting aspect of it is when compared to the French. Despite their high fat diet, they are still a leaner society of people than we are here...mostly due to portion control.

    Who says more is better? And how did it become that way?

    story here
  2. edesignuk Moderator emeritus


    Mar 25, 2002
    London, England
    I've never been to America myself so I don't know, but when my uncle visited he said that a large (of whatever) here in the UK is (give or take a little) equal to a small in the states. Not good if you wanna keep trim.
  3. eyelikeart thread starter Moderator emeritus


    Jan 2, 2001
    Metairie, LA
    I've read that U.S. portions are up to 50% larger than that in France, so I can only imagine how they fare to those in the U.K.. :rolleyes:

    I truly believe it's the typical, American belief that BIGGER is better. The more u can get, the better off u are. It sickens me.
  4. Stelliform macrumors 68000


    Oct 21, 2002
    I agree, for example, a lunch at my house is usually a sandwich. If you go to a Fast food joint, you get a 32oz coke, probably 8 to 12 oz of fries, and a hamburger that is easily twice the size of a normal sandwich. I know some Wendy's combos have 1200 calories or more.

    As Americans most of us were also taught to clean our plate. That is a habit I am personally trying to break. If I get lunch at a fast food joint, I now toss half or more of the fries.
  5. eyelikeart thread starter Moderator emeritus


    Jan 2, 2001
    Metairie, LA
    Exactly Stelli. I get full off a sandwich in most cases, and feel slightly fuller than I'd like when I have more. I just get hungry more often is the thing, so I don't usually eat a lot at a sitting.

    Good point on the cleaning our plates though. Although, I do find it's more old school, as many parents & such today don't force their children to eat everything (which surprises me).
  6. Dros macrumors 6502

    Jun 25, 2003
    I think it also has to wanting "a deal". How can you turn down getting a super-sized meal for 50 cents more even if you don't need the extra food? And as people get used to the larger portions, a normal amount of food doesn't satisfy, so that begins a new round of portion increases. I'm amazed how after a few big meals I do feel hungry even after eating a reasonable amount... but a few days of limiting my food intake returns that "fullness" sensor to the normal range.
  7. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    If you look at the stomach band surgery, it puts a band around the stomach inlet to make you actually fully chew your food quite awhile to fit in the small inlet.

    Takes more work to eat, longer to graze, and helps you reduce your food portions.

    As it costs a lot of money...


    Which brought out another point that some doctors have been trying to make.

    Not only have we been eating too much with these huge portions, we're also gorging ourselves in record time.

    And the food factories don't care -- plop the food down and eject their ass as quickly as possible. Table turnover people. :rolleyes:

    So realize that we're sucking down a Super Value-sized Meal, without taking the time to savor the taste, but who would really want to. :eek:
  8. big macrumors 65816


    Feb 20, 2002
    did someone pay this researcher to make this observation? Is this for real? Do we need to spend money on this? Was this a US govenment rersearch project, sounds right for one.
  9. JohnStrass macrumors regular

    Jul 17, 2002
    Miami, USA
    fatty US

    Yes, it is worth studying, even though I am competing for scarse research dollars for my laser-imaging research.
    I am a doctor, and there is almost no part of human health which is not hurt by obesity. We need these (admidetly low intelectual effort) studies to build up pressure on fast-food dealers to cut down on obesity.
    Personaly, I think most if it is due to snacking. We americans can never seem to do anything without shoving something in our mouths. Just look at the check-in line at the airline counter.
  10. Durandal7 macrumors 68040

    Feb 24, 2001
    You didn't really think that the entire country happened to have a glandular problem, did you?
  11. G4scott macrumors 68020


    Jan 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Are all you can eat buffets a big thing outside of the US? I know that's what makes a lot of American's fat... especially the chinese food buffets... chinese food... I'm hungry now... Of course, I'm not going to go out and eat enough food for 3 people...
  12. wdlove macrumors P6


    Oct 20, 2002
    I also remember growing up with my parent saying that I should clean my plate. When it came to something that we didn't like, we had to at least try some. For me that wasn't much of a problem.

    It does seem that in America, we don't listen to our natural sense of feeling full. Lately I have been doing a little better. When eating out getting a doggy bag. At home just not eating all that my wife give me on the plate.
  13. Awimoway macrumors 65816

    Sep 13, 2002
    at the edge
    I don't force my kids, because I want them to learn to stop eating when they are full. I think forcing kids to clean thier plates stretches their stomachs and psychologically turns them into overeaters.
  14. Daveman Deluxe macrumors 68000

    Daveman Deluxe

    Jun 17, 2003
    Corvallis, Oregon
    Heh. Today I went to A&W and had a cheeseburger, regular fries, and a root beer float.

    The cheeseburger is fairly small and the regular-sized fries is about what you'd get in a medium pacakge at Burger King. I left halfway through my fries because I was stuffed. One of the best root beer floats I've ever had though. :D
  15. rainman::|:| macrumors 603


    Feb 2, 2002
    exactly right, the threat could have been titled "researchers link fatness with how much your fat ass eats".

    i think Americans are terrible about food. i can't really complain tho, i'm very slim no matter how much i eat, people constantly accuse me of having an eating disorder or whatnot, whether i eat like a pig all day, or just have some wheat-grain crackers, i weigh the same. kind of nice. but, i did go through a LOT of work to drop to this weight, i used to weigh a lot more... it's just finding the right eating habits for you. But I doubt very much that 32 ounces of sugar water and unnecessary double portions are helping much.

    what it comes down to, is that americans are willing to spend $billions on weight loss, etc to deal with obesity, but aren't willing to simply STOP compulsively eating... if a person complains about their weight constantly, and fails at more than two diets, i have to suggest that they go to therapy, because something is making them want to be fat, under it all. or their eating problem was psychological to begin with. but whatever it takes, there's NO reason to complain at me because you're obese. it's not my fault, and i'm sick of hearing about it.

  16. poopyhead macrumors 6502a


    Jan 4, 2004
    in the toe-jam of greatness (Fort Worth)
    I dont think it is so much how much americans eat but instead what we eat. It is cheep to produce tasty convenince food. due to biology we are drawn towards simple sugars and fats which are by their nature easy to produce, cheep and have a relatively stable shelf life. The producing of healthy inexpensive shelf stable food is much more difficult. I think america has fallen prey to a combination of biology and the desire for higher profit margins. If people were only willing to devote the time they spend watching "sex in the city" to actually cooking their waist lines would shrink. I lost over 100lbs simply by changing what i eat not how much i eat, it works.
  17. Les Kern macrumors 68040

    Les Kern

    Apr 26, 2002
    They still need to amass data, and things like this can sound like a ridiculous undertaking. My feeling is "Duh!". I'm more impressed with the study done a few years back that talked of eating 25-30% less, even if your weight is normal, will actually make you healthier and to live longer.
    For those of you in Europe, we here in America are obsessed with a "deal", even if it includes unbelievable portion sizes which are by nature just plain idiotic. We are gluttons. We are selfish. We are, well, freakin' HUGE.
    Personally I'm 6'7" and 205. I cut back my meals by at least 25% and haven't lost a pound and I feel better. If everyone in this country laid off the truckload portions, we could feed the world, live longer, save thousands of lives, save billions on health care, and be happier. But no.
    Our national motto: "You wanna SuperSize it?"
    Fun with math:
    Whereas "I" equals intake in calories, and "E" equals energy expenditure in calories.
  18. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    I guess portion size is a good indicator.

    Watch the home show networks, and it's fun to see them talk about how some homeowners may need to take their dishes to the homecenter to see if your plates will fit in the dishwasher.

    I guess if the plates don't fit in the "standard" dishwasher, and they see these as "normal" sized plates. I wouldn't be surprised if their pants keep shrinking.

    Bad washer & dryer. :p

    Compare some of these current household plates to the old dinner plates from the 70's, and they either look like salad plates, or places to park jumbo coffee cups.

    And the single serving plates at the restaurants these days, used to be family meal plates in the 70's.
  19. Chappers macrumors 68020


    Aug 12, 2003
    At home
    I saw a television programme last night about this problem.

    They had two kids talking (one fat, one thin)

    Fat kid - My friend eats loads but cus he's got a faster metabolism he never puts on weight. I only have to eat a few beans and I put on pounds.

    Thin kid - My Mom loves my friend cus he always clears up all the food we have going spare and eats loads. I just don't eat so much as him.

    I'm not quoting here just giving the over summary of what they said.

    I wonder which one is telling the truth.

    Also it was interesting because dietician/sciencist types say that todays children will not live as long as their parents because diseases related to obesity will become the major cause of death. Life expectancy has increased up until now.
    We've cut adverts for cigarettes, may we should cut them for junk food. And product placement - maybe that should go to.
  20. scat999999 macrumors regular

    Oct 8, 2003
    Not just the plates, I just bought new flatware recently...>

    and the teaspoons were the size of tablespoons and the tablespoons were the size of serving pieces.

  21. big macrumors 65816


    Feb 20, 2002
    we do need to remember, to each their own... I smoke some, like 5 or less a day, I do eat some junk foor, maybe twice a week I have a swiss cake roll, though I stay fit and am starting to hate red meat...

    some people love to eat, my neighbors are at least 200+ over and seem happy, they may die before me, but they are happy, genuinly...

    I have a girlfriend who is 28 and not over 95 pounds, she's perfectly healthy though, she's fine with herself (and quite hot) though hates it when people assume she has something wrong.

    my whole point is that sometimes, like in the case of cigs or burgers & fries, we have to let people make their choices. I have 4 children, it was a concious choice, I love them all, and still look forward to them getting the hell out of the house, or at least old enough to mow.

    sorry to ramble, all I am trying to get at is, people know if they eat stuff that is unhealthy, they will be unhealthy. They know if they smoke, they have a greater chance at contracting related diseases et al...

    I do not think that killing a major labor market and income producer for the US is a wise choice. It'll be more liike a State run chain than a corporation, we'll call it the McNazi sandwich.
  22. SharksFan22 macrumors regular


    Dec 29, 2003
    Bay Area, CA
    More on obesity and fast food

    If you *really* want to gather some insight into eating habits of Americans, I recommend picking up a copy of "Fast Food Nation" by Eric Schlosser. It discusses some of the unique marketing ploys used by the fast food industries aimed at children, primarily those under six years old. It cites scientific evidence that most of a person's eating habits are defined by the age of six or seven -- why do you think they have all those "Happy Meals" and promotions aimed towards kids? Get them hooked at a young age and their hooked for life. It amazes me that we here in America get up in arms about smoking, but at the same time shove that fast food crap in our four-year-old's mouth. And don't even get me started on the targeted marketing to low-income groups. UGH! IF you're short on cash, buy food at the grocercy store and prepare more than one meal for the price of one fast food meal. Ok, I'm done ranting for now. :)
  23. big macrumors 65816


    Feb 20, 2002
    that's a great book, and well worth the time to read it....

    do you mean McKids like this guy?
    (credits to James Kunstler)


    from his web site it says
  24. rueyeet macrumors 65816


    Jun 10, 2003
    What makes it difficult is that it's not any one of those things--it's ALL of them.

    We eat crap, we eat lots of it, we eat it as fast as possible, we like getting more of it for our money, and we children of Depression-era parents were taught to clean our plates. Big business has figured all of this out, and bends over backwards to sell us more crappy stuff to eat, as cheaply as possible, and as quickly as they can get us in and out the door. The cycle escalates every time the super-size becomes everyday in consumer perception.

    We spend all of our time at couches and desks and in cars, so activity is decreased even as our consumption increases. Lawsuits for everything are the rule of the day, and personal responsibility is out of style. The Food Network shows us all the yummy stuff we should be learning to cook, while diets are hyped from every direction, promising everything from quick and pain-free miracles to complete lifestyle overhauls.

    And that's all without the added complication of eating disorders, body image, social perceptions of attractiveness and norms, and all that baggage.

    Really, it would be amazing if we WEREN'T becoming the Land of the Free and Obese. You want fries with that?

    That's a good point too, about what we're teaching our kids about how to eat. It's not just the fast food, either. Look at any kid's menu at nearly any restaurant, and they're the same: hot dogs, fried chicken fingers, grilled cheese, and maybe spaghetti, quesadillas, and hamburgers. After all, we can't expect our toddlers to eat real adult food--they'd make a mess! they won't want it! it'd cause trouble! So we give them high-cholesterol, high-fat fried crap--sometimes at home, too. That's really beginning to annoy me every time I'm out to eat with my two-year-old nephew: there are no healthy choices compatible with his skill levels with utensils, no matter where we go.

    Oops, got into rant mode. sorry. :eek: Okay, I'm done.

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