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Old 03-07-2012, 08:49 AM   #1
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Supersize v Superskinny (UK)

Not so much a food show, but a health show regarding overeating and undereating.

Two extremes are put together to sample each others diets (very overweight person v anorexic) and to examine each others life styles with a view to changing their own lifestyles.

I am constantly shocked at how being overweight through eating too much, becomes a disability, in a big way. People are being hoisted out of their houses, into supersize ambulances to get to hospital to be treated for health problems brought on by their size.

Also, if someone is so big they literally cannot move, who is feeding them enough to maintain or increase that weight? And who pays for that amount of stuff????

And, why are food portions in the US so gigantic???

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Old 03-07-2012, 09:16 AM   #2
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Not so much a food show, but a health show regarding overeating and undereating.

Two extremes are put together to sample each others diets (very overweight person v anorexic) and to examine each others life styles with a view to changing their own lifestyles.

I am constantly shocked at how being overweight through eating too much, becomes a disability, in a big way. People are being hoisted out of their houses, into supersize ambulances to get to hospital to be treated for health problems brought on by their size.
Interesting, I will look and see if I can find some episodes on line.

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Also, if someone is so big they literally cannot move, who is feeding them enough to maintain or increase that weight? And who pays for that amount of stuff????
I have watched a few shows here in the US on extremely over weight people. Watching the caregivers as the person would lose weight sometimes was disturbing. The person starts to lose weight and the caregiver starts feeding them cake....

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And, why are food portions in the US so gigantic???
We (as a nation) demand it. When you start to look a at restaurant review usually you see mention of portion size. Bigger is better.
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Old 03-07-2012, 10:13 AM   #3
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And, why are food portions in the US so gigantic???
Here's what the people who study the phenomenon say. Restaurants have very few business factors they can control. They cannot control rents, utilities, or the unit cost of food. Not can they really control salaries which become fairly standardized. Nor can they control the number of customers who come to eat.

What they can control is how much food they serve and charge for. In any sales business, the more you sell, the more money you make. You can't just charge more for the same food. You have to provide more food in a meal, if you want to charge more for the meal and make more profit. You cannot do it with two-for-one deals. People will not buy two hamburgers, just to get the second one at a lower price. But they will pay more for a bigger burger, if it's available and seems like a good deal. To do this, a restaurant must increase the plate size, too. That plate size becomes the standard. You want customer to want a full plate. Once all this begins, all the competing restaurants must follow, else they appear to be offering inferior value. And the restaurant plate becomes the home standard, also. If you happen to buy a 1940's home that has not been updated, you may well find that the kitchen cabinets will not accommodate a modern dinner plate.

Buffets, when they could be found, were once limited to plain "American" food. Now, the majority are Chinese. And such things as "endless pasta bowls" are featured at Italian chains. Chinese, Italian, and Mexican food are among the cheapest to produce and among the most profitable in very large portions.

Some notable examples. In 1972, the McDonald's "Quarter-Pounder" was considered a large hamburger. It was large. It's original 1955 burger was a "one point two ouncer."



A "large" pizza was once 10 or 12 inches. Pizza is still cut into the same eight slices. But a little geometry will reveal the way in which area increases as diameter increases, and the 1/8 pizza slice gets about 2/3 bigger. In my youth, Coke came in 8 ounce bottles or was served at a fountain in a glass that might barely hold 8 ounces. The standard dinner plate was ten inches. It is not 12 inches. A 10-inch plate has an area of 78.5 square inches. A 12-inch plate is 113 sq. in. And remember how you have to allow for the original coffee "cup" when you buy a coffee maker. People do fill the plate and the cup, and they tend to eat and drink it all.

Now, let's all go out for a Cheesecake Factory Ranch House Burger



Opps. Looks like that 1,900 calorie wonder was listed too many times on the worst hamburger lists. We'll just have to go on over to Chili's for the Chili's Southern Smokehouse Bacon Burger, only 2,290 calories with fries.

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Old 03-07-2012, 10:33 AM   #4
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I should add my own speculation on why the phenomenon didn't take hold so much in Europe. In the U.S., the restaurant experience is largely get in, eat, get out. It's not just "fast food" places that boast of speed. Actual sit-down restaurants anticipate that customers want speed, and the "lunch break" at work is strictly limited, and the clock haunts any lunch outing. The goal is to stuff as many as possible in the least possible time. The American restaurant grew up in an atmosphere of great industrial vigor where getting right back to work mattered to bosses who were riding the economic miracle and where the work ethic that converted the whole middle U.S. to cultivation transferred to industrial work.

The European experience of lunching at leisure as a social experience is not common in the U.S. Here, I will not, as I did in Marseille, go to lunch with several friends and spend two hours at lunch in a very reasonable fish restaurant where the owner gets involved in everyone getting to sample his favorites. I will find coffee shops where I can sit indefinitely, mostly outdoors, but they will be strictly self-serve. There will be no place where a waiter will serve and no one will object or be surprised if I sit there for a few hours and read while nursing my one beer. Both the restaurant and the cafe will charge more than I would expect in the U.S., charging as much for the space as the beer. And the fish will excellent and alive that morning and will be served in a reasonable portion that is intended to be enjoyed without hurry. There is a difference in approaches to eating in which offering larger portions does not appear to be greater value, because the value is in more than the food itself. No benefit for larger plates. And, of course, we know well that eating slowly results in eating less. In America, we did to eating what we did to everything else, made it more efficient, got more of it done in less time.
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Old 03-07-2012, 10:41 AM   #5
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In our quest to be efficient, society has devised ways of getting as much food into us with as little effort as possible. Food is only one thing that is abused and addictive in our society. Drugs, people, human rights, kids, spouses, sex, power, television.. It is the way of the world, unfortunately. I think overeating and obesity from overeating is just a symptom of our rotting society. You have to address the cause, not the symptoms. Good luck with that.

Mother nature has invented necrosis as a tool to create a balance in the biological processes of our earth. Our species is only doing what we were put on this earth to do. Is die, eventually. Animals of all kinds will eat themselves to death is they have the chance.
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Old 03-07-2012, 10:48 AM   #6
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Whenever I begin to despair on account of thinking we're nearing the end, I reflect on the likely truth that way back in the dawn of time, some hairy, grubby cave man stumbled out of his hole and looked around and declared that the whole world had gone to hell since he was a boy and had to beat his dinner to death with a dull rock and eat it raw.

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Old 03-07-2012, 11:25 AM   #7
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I'm pretty sure that Coca Cola used to come in 6 or 6.5 ounce bottles. Remember back in the 50's when the "other" soft drink was 7 Up. They called it Seven Up because it came in a seven ounce bottle and the name was pointing out that it was a bigger serving. Can you even imagine 1/2 ounce of soft drink making a difference today?
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Old 03-07-2012, 11:26 AM   #8
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I have read that the food industry loves for us to be overweight. Fat people eat more.
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Old 03-07-2012, 11:30 AM   #9
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Can you even imagine 1/2 ounce of soft drink making a difference today?
Not with the cups they have at places like 7-11. You can hurt you back trying to carry one of those full of sugary drink.
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Old 03-10-2012, 05:50 AM   #10
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I've been guilty of "over-sizing" things.

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Old 03-10-2012, 06:20 AM   #11
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That picture turns my stomach. I would remove the bacon and have maybe only one slice, a thin spread of mayo on only one slice of bread, and definitely a much thinner bread. Those slices are too thick for me. And they would have to be whole grain. I don't like white bread. On second thought I think I would like to have a meatloaf dinner.
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Old 03-10-2012, 07:03 AM   #12
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I'm only in my 30's but I remember at McDonalds, a small beverage today was a large back then. A small fry came in the little paper pocket, now that's considered a child size, and a small more resembles a medium or large fry of my youth.

I wish more restaurants would offer smaller versions of their entrees. There must not be much of a market for this. Only one place that I go will let me order a lunch portion at dinner. I'm OK with one large pork chop instead of two, and there is no way that I can eat 2 chicken cordon bleu any more (I used to stuff them both down.)
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Old 03-10-2012, 08:06 AM   #13
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I order from the children's menu. And if they give me a hard time, I order a glass or water or cup of coffee. They don't want a customer sitting there drinking just water, while everyone else is eating. I usually get my way. And I have noticed that a lot of restaurants in my area now have senior menus with a lower price. I get overwhelmed when there is too much food on my plate. I have had the waitperson take my dish away even before they set it down. I tell them to have the kitchen take half the food off the plate and put the remaining on a smaller plate. I am one of those persons you don't want to take out to eat. I am a constant source of embarrassment.
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Old 03-10-2012, 08:09 AM   #14
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I'm pretty sure that Coca Cola used to come in 6 or 6.5 ounce bottles. Remember back in the 50's when the "other" soft drink was 7 Up. They called it Seven Up because it came in a seven ounce bottle and the name was pointing out that it was a bigger serving.
Back in the late 30s / early 40's Pepsi introduced the larger drink... "Pepsi Cola hits the spot / twelve full ounces, that's a lot / twice as much for a nickle, too / Pepsi cola is the drink for you!"

I don't know if you can pinpoint any one thing, but over the last 40 years there have been a lot of changes. I remember back in the 60s/70s growing up (born in 63) and soda was a summer weekend / holiday / eating out treat and it was water, juice, milk, or cool-aid that we drank most of the time. Then there was 2 liter bottles of soda for 79 cents. HOW CHEAP!!! I remember Mom starting to use instant potatoes, boxed soup mixes (anyone remember Mrs. Grass?? ), minute rice, Hungry Man Dinners.

We also were outside all the time, winter nights indoors yes, but I was always out playing, no sitting and watching tv, playing video games or being on the computer. Many people did more physical labor for work, factories, sweat shops, farming. We started moving from push mowers and rakes to power and riding mowers and leaf blowers, more labor saving devices. We became more suburban. I remember we walked or rode bikes everywhere, even through high school.

Add that to companies / fast food / restaurants all wanting a bigger share of the market and bigger profits so there are more choices and more advertising making us think we need/want/gotta have/ gotta try all the new products. Money gets tight and we look for a better deal (super-size/biggie-size/giant-size for 50-cents more, endless fries/pasta/salad) bigger portions for your money. And it costs those places pennies to do that really. And all that fat and sugar and salt really does taste good.

I also think we don't say NO to ourselves enough (I know I don't) when it comes to snacking, fast food, desserts.

Stepping down now

Side note - there was an article I read a few year ago that talked about the premise that when we eat high fat / high salt foods our body then later will start to crave sweet / sugary foods and vise versa. So restaurants server high salt/fat appetizers that then make you crave sugary sweet desserts.
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Old 03-10-2012, 09:14 AM   #15
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Get off that soap box and make room for someone else.

The notion that this was all forced on people by evil food corporations or some other external force makes popular press, because it blames someone else. You can't be manipulated into instant gratification unless you desire instant gratification to the point of loss of judgment. Humans do and have always craved sweets. That's not a learned taste, like salt. It's innate. And humans are now and have always been programmed to go for fats. They keep you alive in the cold world. Folks in many situations had diets heavy in fat and salt. It was often a reality of frontier or seafaring life. While they may have suffered from a lack elements in their diet, they didn't get fat or diabetic from their diet.

What makes people susceptible to the bad effects of fats and sugar is the combination of the lack of physical activity and the habit of satisfying every urge. When you add in the availability that marketers quite naturally create to meet demand, you get the effects. Want continual entertainment without effort? Sit at the TV or sit and stream video. Or sit and text inanely with other twits. Got a vague food urge? We now have a specific product to satisfy any urge you might have and to help guide you to an urge, in case you don't have one. Want instant success and affluence guaranteed by college? Want college guaranteed with someone else paying the bill? Want personal security without have to bother to do anything for yourself? Basically, want no responsibility for life other than just showing up? That's when food does things to you, rather than the other way around.

Food can't do anything to you that you really decide you don't want it to do. You merely have to take responsibility for it. So long as people see the grocery store as a place to satisfy they desires, they will be victims of their desires. If they see it as a place to meet needs, they just might get right with their food. But they have to come to truly understand the difference between need and want, because needs don't leave you any choices. Wants let you decide.

Over time, we have changed in attitude to stuff. We used to harmlessly "need" things that were hard to get, and now we have forgotten how to "want" and choose not to have. If we see something, we have have it - we need it. And there is ever so much out there today to see and need. But don't blame the people who offer to meet the need. The blame lies solely with the needy.
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Old 03-10-2012, 10:14 AM   #16
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That picture turns my stomach. I would remove the bacon and have maybe only one slice, a thin spread of mayo on only one slice of bread, and definitely a much thinner bread. Those slices are too thick for me. And they would have to be whole grain. I don't like white bread. On second thought I think I would like to have a meatloaf dinner.
Sorry, I didn't mean to turn your stomach!
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Old 03-10-2012, 01:49 PM   #17
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I think the larger portions are about economics. There is fierce competition among restaurants of all kinds. If one restaurant offers a larger portion than the one down the road for the same price, the one that offers more for the money has an edge.

As a customer, I like large portions. I like to be able to split my meal into two portions and take one home. This way I get two meals for my money.
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Old 03-10-2012, 05:03 PM   #18
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Sorry, I didn't mean to turn your stomach!
S'ok.. cause, well.. umm.. YUM..

That looks like a great sammich..
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Old 03-10-2012, 07:42 PM   #19
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S'ok.. cause, well.. umm.. YUM..

That looks like a great sammich..
Thanks. To each his own, I guess. I know that my post didn't have anything to do with restaurant portions.... just trying to joke around.
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Old 03-10-2012, 08:36 PM   #20
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I love BLT's! That's a beauty, VB.
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