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StefanUrkel

Why is America so fat?

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I usually try and buy the "mini" bagels when available. They are actually the size of normal bagels back in the day. And in restaurants, the "sampler" portions if offered are fine with me. Should be an option everywhere. I would pay adult prices for the children's portions.

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14 hours ago, nevets88 said:

Ironically, generally, readily available cheap processed food makes you fat, harder to find fresh healthy food is more expensive.

Nutritionists and economists talk about this on the news frequently.

And it's not so much that healthy food is harder to find, it costs more. And, you might have to take 15 minutest to cook it. Ability to actually cook anything is falling off in our society.

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15 hours ago, StefanUrkel said:

I keep hearing about this poverty epidemic, but I don't see it. Go to any place in America, and over 50 percent of people have a huge gut. 

Cool, we're wallowing in cliches and steretypes.

I don't know, why does europe have zero muscle tone and smell like an unwashed ashtray?  Go anywhere away from the mountain areas and you better not have asthma or you'll die from the stench from people's clothes

(honesty?  I'm pretty grossed out by the fatness too, but I won't call the whole country something because individuals are slobs.  Most of my entire social circle are very fitness oriented)

 

 

 

 

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1. I don't disagree that 50% of people over here are overweight only because I live in the south where frankly... that's pretty true. I've people-watched enough to realize that it's pretty damn close to 50% or more, at least in MY town. That does not speak for other areas including the NE and such. The south is pretty terrible for it though.

2. Portions are ridiculous now. I've only scratched the surface of this thought so I'm sure it's riddled with holes, but the US could implement a law like they do about ordering pitchers of beer. Don't let people in restaurant establishments serve someone ridiculous amounts of food. 

3. Yes, fast food is cheaper here. Leads to obesity. My wife is an elementary school teacher in a more impoverished area of town (all children's lunches are 100% subsidized by the state). She says it's really sad seeing her poorer children with guts because of it, and also because they aren't active enough

4. Cheap fast food leads to obesity, which leads to health problems, which UNNECESSARILY jacks up total healthcare costs. I hate it. But I'm also sympathetic to folks in poverty, because I get it. I had < $100 in my bank account for a 9-month stretch while in school at one point (while working 2 jobs) and nearly literally lived off of Taco Bell's $0.89 5-layer burrito for MONTHS. Luckily I was educated enough to know I needed to exercise and get at least vitamins and minerals in my system to not completely compromise my health. 

I really want education to be more mainstream and widely available. I want the rappers and athletes to go away in a sense that are causing these kids to not care about school because "I'm going to be a pro basketball player" or "I'm going to be a music artist!" You tell them the chances of that are 100,000:1 and they would say "but I can do it, I'm the best!"

I feel like, at this point, the only way to fix this is to make it "easy" for people, or restrict the bad stuff. Restriction is tough with the rampant lobbying around the food industry (just like smoking, which is still a facepalm for me). 

It's a sad situation.

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This topic really struck a nerve with people. 

I'll add one more: I think genetics plays a role in diet and health. My wife and I have shared the same meals for many years now. Her bloodwork comes back clean every time, whereas I've had to really watch of late. Different foods "stick" to different people in good/bad ways. 

 

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For me it boils down to this, the good for you foods are not cheap, fish, turkey, chicken, fresh fruits, fresh vegetables and nuts. The fake food, bad for you foods are, frozen dinners, lunch meat, hamburger, hot dogs anything in the middle isles at your grocery store, cheese, etc....  The good for you foods also take more ingredients and spices to make them taste good, know how to fix them, as well as time. So the people who are not as well off financially will buy the cheaper not good for you foods, the people who don't have a lot of time will buy the easy to fix food or just grab something at a restaurant. Also there is so much misinformation about what is good for you and what is bad for you out there that many people don't understand how to eat healthy. For example parents let their kids drink soda, juice or koolaid instead of water. Couple that with lack of exercise, kids are on iphones, ipods, iwhatevers instead of being outside playing, even adults a lot now work in offices instead of fields and factories or some other form of manual labor now and that's what gives you "the obesity epidemic".

Edited by Slowcelica

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On 23/08/2017 at 3:10 PM, WUTiger said:

Nutritionists and economists talk about this on the news frequently.

And it's not so much that healthy food is harder to find, it costs more. And, you might have to take 15 minutest to cook it. Ability to actually cook anything is falling off in our society.

Hmm. Not sure I'd agree that 'healthy' (and what on Earth does that mean in any case?) food is more expensive. Sure, if you buy from some right-on trendy, organic, eco-grocer etc, it probably is. Generally though, I'd bet that it's not. The issue of cooking from scratch is more important IMO - people either don't know how to, can't be bothered, don't have time, feel it's easier to by readymeals/takeaways etc.

Washed, pre-prepared salads in the U.K. have exploded in popularity. It's laughable how expensive they are when you get down to it. If you bought the ingredients themselves, sure, you'd have to think of what to do with the excess after you've made that first salad, but that's part of home economics - something else that's been lost these days.

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On 23/08/2017 at 5:56 PM, Kalnoky said:

This topic really struck a nerve with people. 

I'll add one more: I think genetics plays a role in diet and health. My wife and I have shared the same meals for many years now. Her bloodwork comes back clean every time, whereas I've had to really watch of late. Different foods "stick" to different people in good/bad ways. 

 

Yes, it can do (certainly re. health and less commonly re. appetite), but not generally or significantly in the sense that two people eat and burn exactly the same, but one puts on a lot more weight than the other. Eating too much can have bad effects if your genetics pre-dispose you to some form of ill health.

Most don't put on weight due to their genes or because their metabolism is 'slow'. There are, of course, exceptions.

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15 minutes ago, misty_mountainhop said:

Hmm. Not sure I'd agree that 'healthy' (and what on Earth does that mean in any case?) food is more expensive.

I don't know how… I think that's awfully accurate.

You can buy a shit pizza from Little Caesar's for $5. Feed a family of four for $10.

But making your own pizza, using healthy ingredients? Gonna cost you more than $10. And that's just one example. There are many, many more.

Bad food is cheap. Good food costs more, and costs a LOT more when you consider the time it often takes.

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On August 23, 2017 at 9:54 AM, nevets88 said:

I usually try and buy the "mini" bagels when available. They are actually the size of normal bagels back in the day. And in restaurants, the "sampler" portions if offered are fine with me. Should be an option everywhere. I would pay adult prices for the children's portions.

Screen Shot 2017-08-23 at 9.53.40 AM.png

Just because they put it on your plate, doesn't mean you have to eat it. ;-) 

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3 hours ago, David in FL said:

Just because they put it on your plate, doesn't mean you have to eat it. ;-) 

That's exactly what most people do though. They don't eat half and save it for later. Put it in front of them, most likely gonna finish it. Then these portions get normalized. Collective waistline increases. Health costs go up.

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1 hour ago, nevets88 said:

That's exactly what most people do though. They don't eat half and save it for later. Put it in front of them, most likely gonna finish it. Then these portions get normalized. Collective waistline increases. Health costs go up.

So whose fault is that? ;-) 

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On 2017-08-23 at 0:54 PM, Lihu said:

Too many cooking shows?

Too many fast food drive throughs. Fast food is easy and cheap. Super Size Me - Morgan Spurlock. 

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10 hours ago, misty_mountainhop said:

If you bought the ingredients themselves, sure, you'd have to think of what to do with the excess after you've made that first salad, but that's part of home economics - something else that's been lost these days.

Excellent point. Good home economists know how to prepare second meals (tasty) vs. leftovers (yuck).

Making a batch of six bowls of chili gets you four second meals: chili stores very well, and some say the flavor is enhanced on a re-warm.

Stir-fry zucchini from two days ago is a leftover. If you don't eat all at first setting, the reload is simply not very good.

Also, some grocery stores have exited the poorer neighborhoods. If the local people don't have a car and public transportation is spotty, it can a challenge to find food that's good for you.

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6 hours ago, nevets88 said:

That's exactly what most people do though. They don't eat half and save it for later. Put it in front of them, most likely gonna finish it. Then these portions get normalized. Collective waistline increases. Health costs go up.

I agree with this and don't feel guilty about it. My wife and I have taken to splitting something most times we dine out. Rarely do I feel hungry after.

I think it might be normal to just eat what's on the plate. Perhaps from primitive times when we had gorge in preparation for winter.

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17 hours ago, iacas said:

I don't know how… I think that's awfully accurate.

You can buy a shit pizza from Little Caesar's for $5. Feed a family of four for $10.

But making your own pizza, using healthy ingredients? Gonna cost you more than $10. And that's just one example. There are many, many more.

Bad food is cheap. Good food costs more, and costs a LOT more when you consider the time it often takes.

I take the point and, I think, fast food your side of The Pond sounds cheaper than here. However, you wouldn't buy the ingredients to make just one pizza though would you? Make a batch of tomato base and keep it in the fridge for more pizzas/pasta etc - freeze it in batches if you make a load. How much does it actually cost for the flour, tomatoes, herbs, some olive oil, a few olives, anchovies, green pepper and a bit of mozzarella? Buying all that from scratch - OK, more than going to Little Caesars. You can use the rest for all sorts of other stuff though and the herbs, if dried, will keep an age. If you don't use what's left over after making the pizza and then bin it, yes, it's bound to cost more.

If you're cooking yourself, you can also control amount of oil etc used, hygiene, provenance of ingredients etc.

Where meat's concerned these days, we also only seem to eat the prime cuts and no offal i.e liver, kidneys etc. Learn how to cook the cheaper cuts of beef - some gorgeous slow-cook/braising recipes around for that sort of thing. Liver costs a pittance, but I could do you the most fantastic Italian-style liver that hardly costs anything and would easily feed an entire family and then some.

Here's a thing: how about growing your own veg?? Gardens in the U.K. are vanishing (you almost can't buy a new-build house with something that an honest person would call a garden), but everyone used to have their own fruit/veg patch.

I wouldn't say it's clear cut, but eating out on junk isn't so much cheaper when you sit down and analyse it. Not significantly.

It's having the imagination, ability and desire to make use of the remaining ingredients to do other stuff and that's where the general loss of those culinary skills that used to be a part of family life is a killer.

Again, I'm not sure what one means by 'healthy' ingredients? Pretty much everything is 'healthy'; with the exception of obvious additives (most of which make little health difference) and highly processed vs. low processed foods (i.e. white vs. brown flour), I'm not sure what's meant by 'healthy'. It's quantity that's the issue for most re. weight gain. The health food/supplement industry etc is a disgrace and it's aided/abetted by our increasing lack of food knowledge.

Anecdote: an old friend of mine who was once an international standard Canadian canoeist (C1 and C2) was reading a pretty thick book once on nutrition, diet and sport. After he'd read what must have been 200-300 pages of this tome, someone asked him what the take-home message was. After a bit of thought, he said 'Eat a balanced diet in appropriate amounts'. Pretty much sums it up I think.

One other thing that doesn't help the home-cooking these days is possibly single-parent families and/or both parents working. Speculating, but I don't think it's anywhere near as common these days in two parent families, for the costs of living to be comfortably covered by a single salary. Very hard to think about and then get cooking if you're pooped after a long day.

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Note: This thread is 998 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

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