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Picture tells it all-1950's hamburger/fries/drink sizes compared to today

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Old 05-30-2013, 05:32 PM   #1
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Default Picture tells it all-1950's hamburger/fries/drink sizes compared to today

Back in the 1950's it was very rare to see anyone overweight. I remember in high school in the 1970's I can think of only one person out of a large student body that could even be considered overweight. Not today. We have continually heard about the portion size's of day's gone past from the 1950's to today. This image is a great example.



It's not that I am blaming just fast food, most restaurants out there also dish out a single serving of food that is really designed for two people.

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During that same period (1950-2000), obesity rose by 214% until today, where 64.5 percent of adult Americans (about 127 million) are categorized as being overweight or obese.

The average American weighs 30 lbs. more today than 100 years ago. In that light, one might conclude that there is a direct correlation between knowledge of obesity and obesity itself.

The point is – we aren't foolish. We know that a salad is better for us than a pizza; that grilled chicken is better than a smothered burrito; that tofu is preferable to a cheeseburger; that fresh fruits and vegetables are better than candy bars and French fries. People are swimming in information. We've become anesthetized by information overload. But more information has not and will not lead to enlightened behavior, less craving for food or improved health.

Don't blame obesity on your genes. It takes eons for our genes to adapt to changes in the environment, while escalating obesity is a phenomenon of only the past few decades. To say that obesity is genetic flies in the face of evolutionary evidence. Consider that there was far less obesity just a century ago. In the early 1900's only one in 150 people were obese. In the 1950's less than 10% of the population was classified as such.

Commenting on the prevalence of obesity in America, John Foreyt, Ph.D., obesity expert at Baylor College of Medicine, concluded that, "At the rate the average waistline is expanding in the United States, everyone will be overweight in another 100 years . . . It's not our genes that are the problem; it's our environment."

In the 1960's, men consumed an average of 2,200 calories per day. By 2000, that had increased to 2,700 calories per day. During the same period, women went from 1,500 to 1,950 calories per day. And that alone is sufficient to explain the "how" of the obesity epidemic.

Replying to the question, "Why are so many of us fat?", Jeffrey Friedman, a molecular geneticist at Rockefeller University, asked, "Why, despite equal access to calories, is anyone thin?"

While the statistics may tell us that we are, in fact, eating more, they do not tell us why we are doing so. Nor do they tell us why we ate roughly the same amount of calories for hundreds of years; but then, in the last 50 years we suddenly began consuming 20% more calories than previously.
more information on the why we're consuming more calories and interesting charts here:
http://insulitelabs.com/articles/Why-We-Eat.html

Last edited by Kscott : 05-30-2013 at 05:38 PM.
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Old 05-30-2013, 05:44 PM   #2
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Wow! It really is amazing the difference in sizes. That could be said about everything these days. Larger the better, everything is super sized to accomodate a "growing" population.
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Old 05-30-2013, 11:47 PM   #3
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Wow! It really is amazing the difference in sizes. That could be said about everything these days. Larger the better, everything is super sized to accomodate a "growing" population.
Agreed--food has become the number one entertainment gig in this country along with eating as the number one activity. If you look at the restaurants--and at public festivals--they're all centered around FOOD. The portion sizes are enormous. Food--all kinds of it has become a celebration in this country. It's really no surprise that we're in the shape we're in.





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Old 05-31-2013, 12:51 AM   #4
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Agree.

On another point.

In the 50's, clothes were all cotton, not forgiving, if you gained.

The 70's gave us polyester, and acrylics and stretchy fabrics, and elastic!

Fast forward to spandex! And Yoga pants, and fleece, and so on and so forth!

When did it become socially acceptable to go out in public in your fleece pants, spaghetti strap top and your slippers?

I see this all the time! Welcome to Wal Mart!

And I would really like to know who told people, that low rider jeans and short tops, and thong panties, do not mix with bending over.

I have seen more plumbers crack, in the last 5 years, than I saw in the former 50 years of my life!

And to the young men, that wear their jeans around their knees and show us the boxers, and then wonder why they can't out run the police. Pull up your pants!

Rant over, thanks for listening!
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Old 05-31-2013, 08:50 PM   #5
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wow everything (excepting soda) is 3x its size in the 50's and the soda is 6x its size... yikes! added to that fast food was usually a rarity, once a week or once every 2 weeks, now it is all to often an everyday meal for many people
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Old 06-01-2013, 11:44 AM   #6
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I grew up in the 50's. People rarely ate out. There were not many restaurants except for when you were traveling. We had enough food for for each person to get one serving at meals, and there was nothing to eat between meals. Snacks such as ice cream, cake, candy were rare, for holidays or special occasions, not something that was kept in the house. I never ate in a restaurant until I got my first job and we would go out for lunch. Ironically, that is also when my weight problems began. I was eating a dinner-size meal for lunch.

When fast food came about, they advertised little hamburgers that were 10 cents or 15 cents with cheese. It was only over the years that they started making them bigger and bigger. Burger King started it with the Whopper. "It takes two hands to handle a Whopper cuz the burgers are bigger at Burger King." That was their jingle.

I read in the paper recently that McDonald's is having disappointing sales with their salads. Healthier food is available, but people are making the choice to eat the higher calorie, higher fat foods.

If we only ate at home, only ate 1 serving, and didn't eat between meals, we would all be thin. LOL I think when you're a child, you learn to eat the way your family eats. It is part hereditary and part learned behavior.

I also agree about the spandex and elastic waists, sweat pants. If you wear a structured pair of pants with a waist band, you can tell immediately if you are gaining. But the pants of today just expand with you.
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Old 06-01-2013, 06:34 PM   #7
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A 7 oz soda? Wow that is small!
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Old 06-01-2013, 08:59 PM   #8
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If you want more eye-openers, read the book Fast Food Nation - or watch the movie (warning - it's intense, and deserving of its R rating). Sobering stuff.

Not only were those 50s hamburgers much smaller, they probably didn't contain all the hormones which I believe can mess up our bodies and contribute to obesity and many other health issues.

Also another book, The End of Overeating, discusses how foods are designed by the food industry to hit as many taste receptors and pleasure centers in our brains as possible.

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Old 06-01-2013, 10:00 PM   #9
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And let's not forget all the exercise people got in those pre-remote control days, GETTING UP TO CHANGE THE TV CHANNELS!!!!!! (Except for my dad, because at our house it was the designated kids' job!)

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Old 06-02-2013, 12:30 AM   #10
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Very sobering. There are so many reasons for the obesity epidemic - we are accountable for our own weight, of course, but it is certainly harder to stay slim when the odds are stacked against you:

-Advertising: kids are hooked immediately, seeing all the ads for fast food places (where they get a free toy ith a kids meal), sugary breakfast cereals, sodas, etc.

-The size of soda bottles keeps growing. I can remember a 12-oz bottle every once in a while being a treat for the occasional dinner. Now you have 20-oz bottles and people who drink them all day long.

-Video games, smart phones, etc. I used to play outside after school. Until I got my Atari. Kids these days play with their phones and video games, and not outside playing and burning off calories.

-Families that don't cook their meals anymore. Everyone works, and it can seem like a pain to cook after work. So families grab these high fat, high calorie options for dinner: pizza, fried chicken, burgers, etc. several times a week.

We are screwed as a nation if things don't change soon (which I doubt they will)....
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Old 06-02-2013, 12:45 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Mountain Mamma View Post
And let's not forget all the exercise people got in those pre-remote control days, GETTING UP TO CHANGE THE TV CHANNELS!!!!!! (Except for my dad, because at our house it was the designated kids' job!)
Back in the 50's there were 3 T.V channels. Not a lot of T.V. too watch unless you were addicted to soap box opera's. So we played outside--and walked to school. In the 70's cable T.V. made it's entrance and now 200 channels of anything and everything along with video games that keeps kids inside and not active.

We really didn't have a lot of fast food then--everyone ate at home. It was considered a real treat to go to a restaurant once in a blue moon. Times have changed--but with those changes we also know that we have a personal responsibility to take care of ourselves--and our families--to insure that our kids and grand kids grow up with good eating and exercise habits.

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Old 06-10-2013, 05:59 AM   #12
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Thank you for posting this Kscott,

Honestly, I am not too surprised at the difference. I didn't realize the difference was that drastic but I know that portions have grown tremendously and it is terrible in my opinion, what I call 'portion distortion.'

Now when I go to a restaurant which is much more often than I used to as a kid, I can usually make two meals out of a typical meal, and I find that is the case in most restaurants. I don't know why so much food is wasted. I think it is also a shame that the healthier foods are more expensive, such as produce and foods that don't have as many additives and extra junk. Why are we paying more to eat healthy, shouldn't we paying more to eat junk?

It is very sad what is happening with today's societies regarding nutrition. It seems that there are more fast food chains popping up everywhere, which is not necessary, at least in my opinion it's not necessary. Also, the food there and portions are so out of whack, it's really sad, it's sick.

Thanks for posting this.
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Old 06-10-2013, 09:09 AM   #13
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Default We didn't have GMO's then either

So I am not blaming portions. Children did NOT have Adult Diabetis. Hardly any , Asthma,or Autism.
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Old 06-10-2013, 11:21 AM   #14
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From reading these posts, it seems like a lot of it has to do with women going to work instead of staying at home. If a woman is working, she can take care of all the cooking/cleaning/grocery shopping and packing nutritious lunches for the kids. Once the woman has to work full time, she has to become super human and put healthy food on the table. I'm not saying that women who go to work have any choice in the matter and many women want to work but it's just how it is, or it seems to be. If I'm wrong, please let me know. Also, it's a lot of other factors too, as mentioned above.
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Old 06-13-2013, 11:50 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by luckymommy View Post
From reading these posts, it seems like a lot of it has to do with women going to work instead of staying at home. If a woman is working, she can take care of all the cooking/cleaning/grocery shopping and packing nutritious lunches for the kids. Once the woman has to work full time, she has to become super human and put healthy food on the table. I'm not saying that women who go to work have any choice in the matter and many women want to work but it's just how it is, or it seems to be. If I'm wrong, please let me know. Also, it's a lot of other factors too, as mentioned above.
I didn't mean for my post to be a critique against women. It is more of a critique of our nation, where so many families have to have both parents work in order to make ends meet. If both parents are at work all day, it is understandable that neither one - mom or dad - is going to feel like cooking after a hard day of work. Pizza/fried chicken/burgers and fries are easy to pick up after work ad the kids like them. But all that unhealthy food comes with a cost to one's health.
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