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Is healthy eating now a "diet" in the American culture?

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Old 05-04-2013, 06:15 AM   #16
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It's interesting to see what you all have noticed on this and everyone's input. I may not have been too clear. I don't think it's 100% wrong to say you're on a diet if trying to lose weight. But what bothered me was I noticed people don't seem to see eating healthy and being on a weight loss diet as two different things. It's like so many only eat healthy if trying to lose weight.

And the fact that children are now identifying healthy foods only with being on a weight loss diet. So that raises some flags and questions with me. Just like walking seems to be extinct. I went walking with my niece and her friends; they wanted to go with us to the Casey's store to get a drink and snack, and when we started off, one little girl asks, "Where's the car?" - I say we aren't going in one, we are walking. She says, "Why would you walk? It's not normal to walk places. That's why everyone has a car." Then the other kids started remarking the same. I asked if any of them walk with their families, and they all said no. I asked if they'd ever walked to the park, and they said no, that they mainly play video games at home - nothing active. And the same thing has occurred with the topic of "dieting," which should be healthy eating, as none of them are on diets - but if they think a bowl of fruit or a banana is a diet if they eat that instead of a bag of candy, then something is worrying. Some people act as if nothing has changed with this current children's generation with healthy food or eating habbits. When I was a little girl I ate healthy foods; fruits, veggies and not nearly as much junk food. And the same went for the other kids I knew. That wasn't that long ago; I was born in the mid 80's. We didn't view eating a banana as being on a diet. We little girls also didn't discuss needing to go on a "diet," or that we are fat, have puffy eyes, or that they are worried about not being skinny/underweight (which is what they want already, at under 10)

I also wondered if this is just going on in the US, or if this type of thing is trending elsewhere.

I noticed someone that replied on here may have taken me wrong, or in offense (Which wasn't intended. Sorry), asking what "healthy" food is. I would say things that aren't fried, highly carby, full of sugar, and processed food; things that are healthy such as lean meats, seafood, veggies and fruit, etc. I tend to eat that way even when not trying to lose - it's just not everything I eat. I would say my main problem is metabolism and the occasional comfort food/sweets, which mainly just kicks my butt in the winters when much less active.
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Old 05-04-2013, 10:55 AM   #17
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I find this a very interesting phenomenon as well. My stepdaughter believes that McDonalds should be a daily thing and that we should take the car everywhere (she is 3 and a half, but still...) while my son whom I've influenced from birth would rather walk to to park or the store and eat a lean protein and Brussels sprouts. I personally believe that the Standard American Diet has become far too processed and "fast" over the decades and it really is taking a toll on our children. There, however, has been a shift over the past few years which is so awesome to see. But I do have to agree that the general thought, unfortunately, is "diet" when it comes to healthy foods.
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Old 05-04-2013, 11:47 AM   #18
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Think there are many stereotypes and assumptions about what is healthy, about what is unhealthy, about what is normal eatind and activity, and why one would choose one way of eating and behavior over another, and of course the assumption that you can tell how a person eats and lives just by looking at that person.

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).

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).
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Old 05-04-2013, 12:51 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaplods View Post
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.
BTW- Sorry about how I did this, I just didn't have the time to disect the post in several quotes to reply, so I put my replies under yours.
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