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Old 06-03-2012, 09:54 AM   #31
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We just upped our glass size to 20 oz, and it amazes me when people suck down 3 or 4 glasses. Because I'm health conscious I would make a point not to drink even a full glass, but that is a choice the customer is making, and certainly shouldn't be something the government tries to get involved in. I DO agree that calories should be posted. We have a chocolate cake that has 1200 calories in one piece. I ate a piece once and it was sooooo good. I'd love to eat it all the time, but once I saw that I would never touch it again unless I was splitting it with 6 people lol. There are some things on the menu people probably think are healthy and vice versa, and it would be great for people to know these things (we do have some of the lowest calorie entree's listed in the "lighthouse menu" tho, which is nice). I bet if they listed the calories we would sell a bunch of our flavored teas. They are just iced tea with 2 oz of fruit purée mixed in, so they are pretty low cal, but you still get to feel like you're splurging. And they look fancy :)
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Old 06-04-2012, 02:57 AM   #32
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there used to be some old joke about bad habits and how they affect other people.
it went something about how we all have bad habits.

smokers' bad habit has a side effect whereby other people around them are forced to breathe in their wafting smoke.

my bad habit is drinking beer. it's side effect is having to pee frequently.

to be fair, if i have to breathe in your smoke, i should be allowed to pee on you...
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Old 06-04-2012, 07:16 AM   #33
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As a smoker...I am fond of good cigars...I would never put folks in a position to be affected by the smoke. I have absolutely no problem with the laws against smoking in a public place. I don't go to restaurants to smoke. I go there to eat. I can wait to smoke.
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Old 06-04-2012, 09:55 AM   #34
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I make it a point to walk away from a doorway if I am going to light up. I don't know one non-smoker who wants to be making an exit from a building and walk through a haze of smoke. I am also mindful of which way the wind is blowing.
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Old 06-04-2012, 11:38 AM   #35
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Long post. Don't like long posts? Move along or get over it.

My gut says leave people to their choices. But gut feelings always need to be checked, and after checking mine, I'm not going to oppose legislated portion controls in one form or another. Here's why. And at the end, a modest proposal.

While some of the regulations and proposed regulation are difficult to swallow (but they're also sugar-free and low-fat), the "choice" argument doesn't really work. Customers could have ordered and eaten two cheeseburgers in 1992. But they didn't, because the seller presented one as the serving size. Today, the same seller represents that a single cheeseburger with twice the calories is the standard serving size. The customer is choosing ONE serving of the same meal in both cases. It is silly to expect customers to toss out half their serving, even if they are old enough to remember the old serving.

In 1992, the customer could have purchased and consumed two to four 8-ounce Cokes. But they didn't, because eight ounces was the seller's serving size. Today, Coke represents that twenty ounces is the standard serving size. (Labels pretending that an individual size unit has multiple "servings" is fraudulent. What's in the bottle is the real serving size, unless you're going be passing that bottle around the group.)


Wendy's original medium drink was 22 ounces. Their Biggie was 32 ounces. If you were thinking moderation was good, here was their representation of "medium," greatly more than anyone needs and hardly "medium" in the bottled soft drink world. In 2006, they made the former Biggie become the medium at 32 ounces and the large 42 ounces. Your already excessive, but "moderate," medium increased by 50%. Just so you don't feel bad, they dropped the Biggie from their fries and began calling it "medium" without changing the amount.

We're not going back very far for those numbers. If we go on back to the beginning, the 1955 original McDonald's hamburger weighed 3.7 ounces, of which the patty was 1.6 ounces. We could go on with examples, but maybe you can see them everywhere.

MAYBE. Because if you're not very old, you think muffins have always been that size, four times the volume they used to be. And you might think a 10-inch pizza, or even a 12-inch pizza, is a "small." And if someone put a 9-inch plate in front of you, you might think they had mistakenly given you the salad plate. And today you would be right. You wouldn't know any different.

The point is that the consumer doesn't determine what a normal portion is. The seller makes that determination. And the sellers cannot be trusted to make those decisions. They can't do it. As soon as one of them ups the size, the others are bound to follow, or they soon look like cheap pikers for offering less than a normal portion. (And, of course, they make less money when they sell less food. Not that they'd let financial gain guide them to choices that harm their customers.)

There was a time when the meal you were served was about the appropriate size, both to feel full and to nourish you through that part of the day. It's true that you could be a pig, but you would then be knowingly and perhaps publicly gobbling more than a recognized standard normal portion. Your piggish decision would be to eat MORE than normal. The normal portions, as guided by restaurants, were apparently about right.

A small demonstration for those so young they've never known anything different.

Look at any collection of photos from the 1950's, 1960's, and into the 1970's. How many people do you see who today would be thought "fat." Not many. But if you're young enough that you don't see any in those old photos, go find some photos of the "fat man" from an old carnival.


And the fat lady.


Were they fat? Sure. Would they be fat today? Sure. But remember that, back then, they were so amazingly "fat" that people would pay to look at them.

Aren't we lucky. We get to see for free.



Teachers. A rather sedentary bunch...

1950 teachers



1950 teacher candidates



2011 teachers



The 2011 student teacher candidates




The point is that people are not deliberately choosing to eat two and three times more than they should. The choice of portions is being made for them. The standard is being set, just as it was before, by the sellers of prepared meals. Those seller once set their portion size according to what portions were served at home. But business decisions drove them to increase portions sizes as a way of increasing profits. (There is no other way to effectively increase profits but by selling more food.)

Now, the meal sellers were setting the portion size. And restaurants needed bigger plates to serve more food. And so home dinner plates followed suit. Today's plates won't even fit in shelves of kitchens unmodified since the 1040's or 1950's.

There are other thins going on. The fast food meal sellers made extremely high sugar drinks the standard meal beverage. They were attractively sweet, and they were very cheap and easily stored as syrup and prepared on site. Perhaps not so terrible if this was still the standard portion:



We are not on entirely new ground here. There are limits to how potentially harmful can be stock market based products, because misuse can create great national harm to all. There are things where you can't just say "people have a choice" and leave it at that. Nor can you imagine that people will just learn to avoid such behavior. There have been investment bubble after investment bubbles for hundreds of years, each doing great general harm. But they still happen with some regularity.

I don't know if portion size can be controlled by legislation. I'm not even sure what form that legislation would take to be effective, whether it would dictate the sizes offered or whether it would mandate a prominent warning and advisory. I do know that doing nothing is a poor option. And I do know that the history of meal seller actions in response to pressure on this issue shows they will merely craft a strategy to keep their super sizes. There is a legitimate and pressing government interest in some real action. The direct load on tax money is very real. The effect on children of the supersize environment is vicious.

So, knowing there is a pressing need, perhaps a national emergency, I'm not going to say some effort is wrong or futile, because it might work or might motivate some correction, and I frankly don't have a better idea that's sure to work. I'm as shy of government regulation as most in a state with a tradition of light regulation, but the sellers of meals in this country have become, in a way that's not so outrageous to imagine, enemies of the national health and economy, and they've done it for their own financial gain and have targeted children to perpetuate their profits. This cannot be allowed, and they aren't going to effectively stop themselves.

And like most in my state, I do not intend that it be left entirely to government to fix. I start with me. Smaller plates at home. Smaller portions. And demanding restaurants serve two of us a single meal with an extra plate, paying a small fee for the extra plate and not even that in the case of fast food where the trusty pocket knife is handy. See how they like only making half from their supersize servings.

Not that's legislation I could get behind, requiring meal sellers to split single meals for a very nominal fee, but prohibited for charging more for the meal or the extra drink.
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Old 06-04-2012, 12:41 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GLC
Long post. Don't like long posts? Move along or get over it.

My gut says leave people to their choices. But gut feelings always need to be checked, and after checking mine, I'm not going to oppose legislated portion controls in one form or another. Here's why. And at the end, a modest proposal.

While some of the regulations and proposed regulation are difficult to swallow (but they're also sugar-free and low-fat), the "choice" argument doesn't really work. Customers could have ordered and eaten two cheeseburgers in 1992. But they didn't, because the seller presented one as the serving size. Today, the same seller represents that a single cheeseburger with twice the calories is the standard serving size. The customer is choosing ONE serving of the same meal in both cases. It is silly to expect customers to toss out half their serving, even if they are old enough to remember the old serving.

In 1992, the customer could have purchased and consumed two to four 8-ounce Cokes. But they didn't, because eight ounces was the seller's serving size. Today, Coke represents that twenty ounces is the standard serving size. (Labels pretending that an individual size unit has multiple "servings" is fraudulent. What's in the bottle is the real serving size, unless you're going be passing that bottle around the group.)

Wendy's original medium drink was 22 ounces. Their Biggie was 32 ounces. If you were thinking moderation was good, here was their representation of "medium," greatly more than anyone needs and hardly "medium" in the bottled soft drink world. In 2006, they made the former Biggie become the medium at 32 ounces and the large 42 ounces. Your already excessive, but "moderate," medium increased by 50%. Just so you don't feel bad, they dropped the Biggie from their fries and began calling it "medium" without changing the amount.

We're not going back very far for those numbers. If we go on back to the beginning, the 1955 original McDonald's hamburger weighed 3.7 ounces, of which the patty was 1.6 ounces. We could go on with examples, but maybe you can see them everywhere.

MAYBE. Because if you're not very old, you think muffins have always been that size, four times the volume they used to be. And you might think a 10-inch pizza, or even a 12-inch pizza, is a "small." And if someone put a 9-inch plate in front of you, you might think they had mistakenly given you the salad plate. And today you would be right. You wouldn't know any different.

The point is that the consumer doesn't determine what a normal portion is. The seller makes that determination. And the sellers cannot be trusted to make those decisions. They can't do it. As soon as one of them ups the size, the others are bound to follow, or they soon look like cheap pikers for offering less than a normal portion. (And, of course, they make less money when they sell less food. Not that they'd let financial gain guide them to choices that harm their customers.)

There was a time when the meal you were served was about the appropriate size, both to feel full and to nourish you through that part of the day. It's true that you could be a pig, but you would then be knowingly and perhaps publicly gobbling more than a recognized standard normal portion. Your piggish decision would be to eat MORE than normal. The normal portions, as guided by restaurants, were apparently about right.

A small demonstration for those so young they've never known anything different.

Look at any collection of photos from the 1950's, 1960's, and into the 1970's. How many people do you see who today would be thought "fat." Not many. But if you're young enough that you don't see any in those old photos, go find some photos of the "fat man" from an old carnival.

And the fat lady.

Were they fat? Sure. Would they be fat today? Sure. But remember that, back then, they were so amazingly "fat" that people would pay to look at them.

Aren't we lucky. We get to see for free.

Teachers. A rather sedentary bunch...

1950 teachers

1950 teacher candidates

2011 teachers

The 2011 student teacher candidates

The point is that people are not deliberately choosing to eat two and three times more than they should. The choice of portions is being made for them. The standard is being set, just as it was before, by the sellers of prepared meals. Those seller once set their portion size according to what portions were served at home. But business decisions drove them to increase portions sizes as a way of increasing profits. (There is no other way to effectively increase profits but by selling more food.)

Now, the meal sellers were setting the portion size. And restaurants needed bigger plates to serve more food. And so home dinner plates followed suit. Today's plates won't even fit in shelves of kitchens unmodified since the 1040's or 1950's.

There are other thins going on. The fast food meal sellers made extremely high sugar drinks the standard meal beverage. They were attractively sweet, and they were very cheap and easily stored as syrup and prepared on site. Perhaps not so terrible if this was still the standard portion:

We are not on entirely new ground here. There are limits to how potentially harmful can be stock market based products, because misuse can create great national harm to all. There are things where you can't just say "people have a choice" and leave it at that. Nor can you imagine that people will just learn to avoid such behavior. There have been investment bubble after investment bubbles for hundreds of years, each doing great general harm. But they still happen with some regularity.

I don't know if portion size can be controlled by legislation. I'm not even sure what form that legislation would take to be effective, whether it would dictate the sizes offered or whether it would mandate a prominent warning and advisory. I do know that doing nothing is a poor option. And I do know that the history of meal seller actions in response to pressure on this issue shows they will merely craft a strategy to keep their super sizes. There is a legitimate and pressing government interest in some real action. The direct load on tax money is very real. The effect on children of the supersize environment is vicious.

So, knowing there is a pressing need, perhaps a national emergency, I'm not going to say some effort is wrong or futile, because it might work or might motivate some correction, and I frankly don't have a better idea that's sure to work. I'm as shy of government regulation as most in a state with a tradition of light regulation, but the sellers of meals in this country have become, in a way that's not so outrageous to imagine, enemies of the national health and economy, and they've done it for their own financial gain and have targeted children to perpetuate their profits. This cannot be allowed, and they aren't going to effectively stop themselves.

And like most in my state, I do not intend that it be left entirely to government to fix. I start with me. Smaller plates at home. Smaller portions. And demanding restaurants serve two of us a single meal with an extra plate, paying a small fee for the extra plate and not even that in the case of fast food where the trusty pocket knife is handy. See how they like only making half from their supersize servings.

Not that's legislation I could get behind, requiring meal sellers to split single meals for a very nominal fee, but prohibited for charging more for the meal or the extra drink.
Great post- I agree with just about everything you said. Portion sizes are outrageous (I often ask for a to-go box with the meal so I can box half of it before I start eating, eliminating the temptation to eat the whole plate), and people drink soda like its water. I am also not sure legislation is the answer, but then what is? As I said earlier, posting calories/fat, and maybe listing what would be a recommended portion size might bring the sizes back down, and make most people get a water after they drink their first glass of coke. But why would you pay for an extra plate?? I split a meal with my bf just about every time we go out, and I've only been to one place where they tried to charge us (they wanted to charge $5 extra). I almost walked out, and I will never go back. I work in a restaurant and sending out an extra plate should not cost extra, unless they get an extra side, or an extra salad, and I think that's a terrible precedent to set. I'm perfectly happy to pay the prices at a restaurant, but I won't pay for nothing.
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Old 06-04-2012, 01:03 PM   #37
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I agree as a nation we are becoming heavier than is healthy. I also agree it's because the restaurant and food industries as super-sizing their portions to increase profits through increased traffic and mark-up.

I am personally annoyed by the giant portions in many restaurants. Much too much food for one person. I reject the argument that the extra food can be taken home as leftovers. If the restaurant/food industry would reverse the trend and offer smaller portions, that would be great. I don't see it happening so I exercise personal portion control by not patronizing those restaurants that offer giant portions and by skipping appetizers and desserts or splitting them with my SO.

On the other hand, I am violently opposed to some grandstanding legislator who has no knowledge of food and cooking and is only looking for a headline, trying to legislate the elimination of salt from all restaurants in his state. Now that's ludicrous!

I am firmly in the personal responsibility camp. It's no one's fault but mine that I'm overweight.

If you go to a fast food restaurant, you have the option to super-size or king-size your meal. It's an option, not an imperative. Is the Whopper too big? Go for a Whopper Jr. You always have a choice. If you're not willing to make that choice, that's on you.

Poor families often but two liter bottles of soft drinks because it's cheaper than milk. If the govt. wants to get involved, maybe they can make an effort to reduce the price of milk or tax soft drinks.

Don't legislate smaller portions, I'll go to three restaurants in an evening if I have to. Don't ban ingredients like salt or MSG, I'll get some on the black market if I have to.

Educate the population and work to provide healthful alternatives the make healthy eating viable. You have to start now with children to change trends. It's harder than banning and limiting but so much better in the long run.
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Old 06-04-2012, 01:07 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skittle68 View Post
...I've only been to one place where they tried to charge us (they wanted to charge $5 extra). I almost walked out, and I will never go back. I work in a restaurant and sending out an extra plate should not cost extra, unless they get an extra side, or an extra salad, and I think that's a terrible precedent to set. I'm perfectly happy to pay the prices at a restaurant, but I won't pay for nothing.
I agree. Restaurants need to maximize the dollars they take in for a table to survive. If a table turns over 2-3 times in a night, that's your revenue for the night. If the portions are larger, they can charge more and increase revenues for that table. If you want to split a meal, you're cutting into their profits and that's why they want to charge for a plate.

I agree it stinks. Just trying to explain why it happens.
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Old 06-04-2012, 02:47 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M.

I agree. Restaurants need to maximize the dollars they take in for a table to survive. If a table turns over 2-3 times in a night, that's your revenue for the night. If the portions are larger, they can charge more and increase revenues for that table. If you want to split a meal, you're cutting into their profits and that's why they want to charge for a plate.

I agree it stinks. Just trying to explain why it happens.
Oh, I understand why they want to do it. Doesn't mean I have to agree or be willing to pay it. What if one person comes in alone and takes up that same table? Only one entree sold, and they aren't buying a second drink either. If I only get one entree I only expect to pay for one entree. Period. Oh, and this place was completely empty. No worries about taking up a table. The prices were too high, the food was good but not outstanding, and they nickel and dime people. Too bad, because I liked the atmosphere and the decor. Unfortunately I think they are one of those places where the owner has never seen the profit margin bell curve of supply and demand. If the place is empty, you need to find a way to draw more people in (like lowering prices), not raise the prices to try to make more off each entree, thereby reducing demand. I used to work at a restaurant where the owner didn't get that concept. She would run a good special, and the place would be packed, so the next week she would change it so that it wasn't such a good deal (so she would make more money) and people would stop coming back. And she started charging 59 cents for sides of ranch, mayo, BBQ sauce, or anything else like that. That pisses people off too, and makes them feel like we are ripping them off so they never want to come back, like me and the place that wanted to charge $5 for an extra plate. I ordered a cup of soup for my meal at that place, so I paid $3.50 instead of $5, and my bf and I ate off the same plate, which was fine with me anyway.
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Old 06-04-2012, 03:13 PM   #40
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Another thing to consider... I agree that sellers set the portion size and it is true that, ultimately, it is a matter of personal responsibility to make healthy choices. In my opinion, however, it will take a long time before the population in general will willingly accept smaller serving sizes after being accustomed for so long to being able to have larger sizes. Oh they will accept them, they can just buy two. Eventually, it will work out that smaller sizes could become the norm. In the meantime, what about grocery stores? Will the government stop the sale of 2 liter bottles of Pepsi? Not likely. Will they limit the amount that can be sold? Nope. Will they ban the sale of substances that are deemed harmful? They haven't yet because there is too much tax revenue to be had to stop it. I suspect that if the truth were known, the only reason tobacco is still legal is because of the revenue it generates for the government. Just my humble two cents.
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