According to a recently released report in The American Journal of Preventive Medicine, at current rates 42% of all Americans will be considered obese by the year 2030. This would cost an additional $550 billion in medical expenditures.
The report further concludes that by that same year - 2030 - 11% of Americans will be considered severely obese. Which is considered to be at least 100 lbs over normal weight or a body mass index over 40!!!!!
That assumes a continuing reasonably affluent lifestye,the way things are shaping up we could all be in for some very thin times and a lot of thin people, by 2030 might be the only fat folks about will be the local warlord and his minions.
Mate of mine went to the US for the first time recently, and he came back shocked at how big people, and not just some but the vast majority, were. Second shock was the size of portions at restaurants; he found like the rest of us that half a starter is more than enough in most cases, and was quite taken back by how the locals would tuck into mountains of food without a care in the world.
He told a story about how they passed a 300lbs fella, who was walking from car parking to the entrance. They drove past him, up the the entrance dropping someone off, then back 500 yards past the large guy to park and walk back. Being visitors they needed to be signed in, badged up and undergo extra security checks. Having completed all that, the big guy walks in and looks like he's about to collapse - he'd walked all of 200 yards in 20 minutes. Was in his mid 30ies, unlikely to live to see 40.
It's not simply portion size, it is the fact that there are generally either no small portions sold, or they are at a ridiculous price differential, e.g. Obesity Burger $5, double everything for only $6.
We have a few 'Texan' sized Canadians, but at least my locally run cafe has a "half breakfast" of 1 egg, 2 small sausages and 1 round of toast for $3, which is actually a fraction under half the price of the full breakfast. And they'll do a bowl of granola for $1.50. This is the solution, in my view.
Happy to report that the local Burger King has shut down, but 2 new small local cafe's have started up.
Yes, the USA restaurant portion size is a big issue.
Shortly after I met Mrs. ExS. we were in Waikiki, and went from the beach for a lunchtime snack at a very smart restaurant, which I thought wouldn't even let us in, us in beach wear, albeit dry, which didn't match the white damask tablecloths and waiters wearing bow ties - at lunchtime ! but Mrs.ExS, being American and not at all bothered about any sort of 'class' distinction marched in and scanned the elegant, and expensive, menu. We'll have a hamburger,and split it, she said. I wanted to crawl under the table, but the waiter didn't bat an eyelid and even brought the half hamburgers on separate plates, each of which was an adequate meal in itself.
I would prefer to pay half the cost for half the food, but I guess the restaurants would soon go out of business if everybody did that, but 'splitting' a dish seems to be quite acceptable in the US for those of us who don't want to waste the money and the food when a 'doggy bag ' is not an option. We do it all the time, but it doesn't seem as acceptable in other Countries - imagine trying to get a Parisian waiter to oblige !
I have a two word diet. Eat Less - and I'm still putting on weight ! ( but I do like my ice cream ! My aged aunt said that she would die of Cream )
While it's been many years since I have been to this place (which I did under duress, but yet it is considered by many to be a fine restaurant), I recall that every item on the menu (which is entirely a la carte) is enormous. You will note that they enthuse about their 'corn-fed' beef, which I find curious, as beef cattle aren't evolved to do well on corn at any stage of life. The meat is fat-laden (marbled is the term of choice) and served in enormous butter-coated slabs.
I did eat in the last year or so at this place below while on business. Note the size of the steaks, and the prices associated with each size (Fox3 touched on this concept above). For those who have forgotten their avoirdupois weights, 3.5 oz is approximately 100 grams.
So, the smallest steak on the menu (the petit filet) is 230g, and costs $31. Show me a 55kg woman who can throw that back (and stay at that weight) and I'll show you someone who does a fair bit of physical labor.
The next smallest (the filet) is 345g, and costs $35.
The largest (granted, it's for two) is a stunning 1.36 kilogram slab of meat, 3 pounds, and costs $80. Long ago my mother would prepare a 3 pound roast for our family of 6 on Sunday and my father would get at least a couple of sandwiches out of it during the ensuing week.
And nobody looks like they are enjoying so much as a bite of it.
yep, that's interesting. I've noticed that when dining out with friends from the US - different items are ordered without real appetite, like routine. We even discussed it once - where have I got the feeling that I should eat what I order/put on my plate? Meaning I do not want too much, if I have a choice. Guess it was our grandparents who knew what shortage meant. Like them saying: one doesn't play with food; or: don't take more than you want etc. But the really terrifying thing is the fat acceptance society, or what was it called.
Lived in the US for 3 years, with mrsr1 who is a US size 0 (petite) (no kidding ....). We cottoned on fairly quickly that we could order a meal and two sets of utensils and a spare plate without any disdainful looks... We once went to one of dem "Country Kitchen" all you can eat for $14 places once - 'twas eye opening, nay, bulging ...
To quote John Pinette, the somewhat adipose (but very funny) American comedian - "Salad is not food, salad is something that goes with food..."