Think there are many stereotypes
And of course the assumption that you can tell how a person eats and lives just by looking at that person.
Yes, I think there probably are. But that is not at all what I have been referring to. I am not a finger wagger or a fat basher. Heck, at my highest weight I was over 300 lbs (and my cause was due to many things, and living in a fast food place wasn't one of them - so I get what you mean). So it's not coming from here. And you don't have to be over-weight to eat very unhealthy - my grandfather ate what was considered very unhealthy and at times very large amounts of it in his day, but he looked like he'd never eaten in his life. And on the other hand, for the people we do not know the case of, it could be eating a lot of junk, too much of even healthy foods, lack of exercise, slow metabolism, hypothyroidism, or several other things - there can be several factors in getting to that point, as you've pointed out. I don't sit and guess what people eat.
I gained most of my weight on what is usually considered healthy food in unhealthy portions. I first became fat a few months before starting kindergarten - around the time I was allowed to cross the street with my little brother to vistit our grandparents after dinner (we thought we were hot stuff because we thought we were crossing the street by ouselves, even though Mom would walk with us until she could see our grandparents' house and could see there were no cars coming. If there were she'd shout for us to wait for the car to pass).
Our grandparents ate dinner later (or maybe grandma held dinner until we arrived), but at any rate, the end result was my brother and I eating two full healthy dinners. My brother, who had a problem keeping weight on until well into adulthood stayed thin (he was also what today would be called hyperactive - my parents and grandparents were always trying to get him to eat more, but the more he ate, the more energy he 'd have and he'd burn it all off. By highschool he was eating twice what I ate, and maintaining a weight about half mine).
All my life people have remarked how healthfully I ate, and were either wondered how I could be so overweight, often assuming I ate huge amounts of junk in secret.
I knew why I was overweight -- because I always felt hungry, even when stuffed and I didn't get much exercise. I didn't realize it until adulthood, but my mother discouraged me from most physical activity either because of her own fears, or because such activities were "unfeminine." One year she pulled me out of tennis lessons because she heard kids making fun of me. I didn't care, but my mother did. She'd also tell me how "silly" I looked, or how fat people just didn't do certain things because they caused sweating and stinking.
I know today that sounds terrible, but 40 years ago there were a lot more social taboos regarding appropriate behavior. I knew before the age of 10, that I was supposed to wear dark (slimming) colors and shouldn't wear stripes or sleeveless tops. There were so many fat-girl rules (there still are, but rule-breaking is more acceptable).
I agree. I see a lot of it. There is still a lot of mistreatment over it, too. I don't know if this is regional or what, but most of the places I've lived, it seemed like it was acceptable for men to be hefty, because they were men but I saw more making fun of women. Not to say everyone is like that, but it seems to not be something that most people haven't seen or heard of before. And you are right about being able to gain on anything, if you eat enough of it. But moderation is something that is needed with anything.
Back to the original topic though, I've had to learn that healthy eating is about much more than choosing specific foods. For myself, I can choose (what seems to me) very tiny portions of moderately healthy, and mid-range calorie food, or I can eat larger portions of very low calorie foods. Usually, I'd rather have tons of veggies than the same calorie potion of grains or beans (even healthy starches tend to increase my appetite).
For some reason we humans tend to gravitate towards cure-all and one-size-fits-all thinking. And when it comes to food and exercise habits, we've come to believe that any deviation from the "normal" only makes sense in the scheme of fixing something that's broke - weight loss, allergies, diabetes, heart disease.... we're not too keen apparently on preventing illness only treating it (and even then only when it's convenient).
Yes, you do see that, but I don't believe it's just one simple way, exactly. Everyone has something that works. I was just comparing eating of lots of fast foods and such (which it seems to be more common these days. I'm guessing in some cases because it's easier or faster, as well as advertising and this and that) to eating things that aren't high in sugar, fat, etc. I've read studies on how there have been rises of households that eat fast food at least once a day on average. I didn't believe it, then over the last year I have observed a lot and found out a lot about how the veggies and fruits seem to be less common in a lot of cases, unless a person is dieting. Though, again, not to say it's everyone. It just seems there has been a rise and trend here. You can tell a lot by observing kids and listening to them talk, just to see how things are, since they of course have no filter LOL.