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1980s definatly, and back..Why were people more fit, toned and healthy Looking?

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  • lemurcat2lemurcat2 Member Posts: 7,303 Member Member Posts: 7,303 Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    I just don't see why people feel the need to overcomplicate this.

    In the 1980s and before, people were required to move more in their jobs and daily lives (less automation, less market penetration of the automation that did exist). They also moved more, on average, via leisure-time recreation in the pre-internet/fewer-screens world of the time. In the 1980s and before, the 24x7 ubiquitous availability of gazillions of snacks was not even close to what it is now, and there was less social expectation/acceptance of people eating or drinking nearly constantly in virtually all situations.

    Add that context to a species that evolved under contingencies of food shortage, and that's more than enough to explain an obesity crisis that only needs a low number of hundreds of daily calories as its explanation.

    Occam's razor. Simplez.

    No need to posit plots by Big Food or nefarious effects of food-product ingredients. I think people bring those in to have an external locus of blame. We did it ourselves. Most of us could undo it, if we really wanted to.

    I agree, especially with the bolded, and the evolutionary aspect (but generally with all of it).
  • JustaNoobJustaNoob Member Posts: 114 Member Member Posts: 114 Member
    JustaNoob wrote: »
    I believe a lot of technological advances have helped us and hurt us in regards to weight. In the past, women worked hard at home with very few conveniences and that burned a ton of calories. Men also had fewer conveniences in the work place.

    Technology has grown a ton and so has the demand for convenience items as more women have entered the work force. Now both men and women are working, but the need for home upkeep hasn't changed.

    Technology that helps us burn fewer calories:
    Cell phones-- You don't have to walk to a wall phone or pay phone if you are stranded.
    Dishwashers-- Throw it in and let it wash.
    Digital books, movies, music-- you never have to walk into a store, you can just order from your couch
    Grocery services-- You don't have to shop for groceries
    Precooked/precut food-- You don't have to do all that, you can buy it premade.
    Robot Vacuums- Never sweep or mop again.
    Riding lawn mowers--Just sit and go.
    Fast Food-- Just grab and go.

    I think all of these little things add up. And of course, I wouldn't expect people to work 8 hours AND do all this from scratch. It just means we have to be more intentional than what previous generations did, simply because their daily duties helped them to burn more calories.

    Note: Women working isn't new. Historically, many women were engaged in the workforce as maids/household help or in industries like agriculture, textiles, retail, and food production. The picture we have of women staying at home is a pretty small slice of history and narrowly focused on an economically fortunate group of women. Women have always worked.

    Women have always worked, but they didn't always get a paycheck. Yes, women have been engaged in the workforce but I disagree that it's been more a fortunate "slice" that worked in the home. I think there may be a breakdown in how each one describes the workforce vs. the home. I think at home work was equally as demanding and important as going to a factory, and could include things like working the field and wrapping things up for resale, etc.

    Either way, just because women have always worked does not mean they haven't historically been held responsible (in pretty much every culture) to care for the home--not that I support this idea. It is both man and woman's responsibility to do what they see fit in their relationships. My argument is that technology and convenience items has helped to relieve women (and men) of that burden.

    So even though my mom was a single mother who worked 2 jobs, she was still taxed with the responsibility of coming home to burn a ton of calories and work more by cooking and cleaning. As technology advanced and convenience items became more available (when we could afford them) she was able to come home and rest more. So when people say "well my mom worked outside of the home but was still skinny in the 80s" I think there are a ton of small things their mom still had to to when getting home that made a big difference in her weight.
  • JustaNoobJustaNoob Member Posts: 114 Member Member Posts: 114 Member
    JustaNoob wrote: »
    JustaNoob wrote: »
    I believe a lot of technological advances have helped us and hurt us in regards to weight. In the past, women worked hard at home with very few conveniences and that burned a ton of calories. Men also had fewer conveniences in the work place.

    Technology has grown a ton and so has the demand for convenience items as more women have entered the work force. Now both men and women are working, but the need for home upkeep hasn't changed.

    Technology that helps us burn fewer calories:
    Cell phones-- You don't have to walk to a wall phone or pay phone if you are stranded.
    Dishwashers-- Throw it in and let it wash.
    Digital books, movies, music-- you never have to walk into a store, you can just order from your couch
    Grocery services-- You don't have to shop for groceries
    Precooked/precut food-- You don't have to do all that, you can buy it premade.
    Robot Vacuums- Never sweep or mop again.
    Riding lawn mowers--Just sit and go.
    Fast Food-- Just grab and go.

    I think all of these little things add up. And of course, I wouldn't expect people to work 8 hours AND do all this from scratch. It just means we have to be more intentional than what previous generations did, simply because their daily duties helped them to burn more calories.

    Note: Women working isn't new. Historically, many women were engaged in the workforce as maids/household help or in industries like agriculture, textiles, retail, and food production. The picture we have of women staying at home is a pretty small slice of history and narrowly focused on an economically fortunate group of women. Women have always worked.

    Women have always worked, but they didn't always get a paycheck. Yes, women have been engaged in the workforce but I disagree that it's been more a fortunate "slice" that worked in the home. I think there may be a breakdown in how each one describes the workforce vs. the home. I think at home work was equally as demanding and important as going to a factory, and could include things like working the field and wrapping things up for resale, etc.

    Either way, just because women have always worked does not mean they haven't historically been held responsible (in pretty much every culture) to care for the home--not that I support this idea. It is both man and woman's responsibility to do what they see fit in their relationships. My argument is that technology and convenience items has helped to relieve women (and men) of that burden.

    So even though my mom was a single mother who worked 2 jobs, she was still taxed with the responsibility of coming home to burn a ton of calories and work more by cooking and cleaning. As technology advanced and convenience items became more available (when we could afford them) she was able to come home and rest more. So when people say "well my mom worked outside of the home but was still skinny in the 80s" I think there are a ton of small things their mom still had to to when getting home that made a big difference in her weight.

    You wrote that "more women have entered the work force." My point is that women have always been in the work force. In addition to caring for their home (which I agree is work), historically women have been engaged in the economy in other ways. The concept of a household where the man earns all the household money and the woman takes care of the home doesn't describe the economic reality of many women in history. Women traditionally have contributed to the household economy in multiple ways -- by working in family businesses, by going to the homes of others to work, by being enslaved workers, by going to factories or job sites to work, or by taking in work (laundry, sewing, wetnursing, etc).

    I understand your argument about household tasks, I'm just pointing out that our idea of women's economic participation tends to be rather narrow in that many of us imagine that women working is somewhat new.

    Statistically, women's participation in the labor force HAVE increased over the years in the US. This is a graph from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

    jfpnx2jm93eq.png

    I understand your point about women always contributing to the household economy. I think that maybe cases of enslaved workers, families business, and taking in work, may not have shown up on this list in the 60's.

    However, the OP asked about the 80s and I would think that these numbers would be more accurate. I stand by my previous statement-- more women HAVE entered the workforce.

    edited February 17
  • JustaNoobJustaNoob Member Posts: 114 Member Member Posts: 114 Member
    JustaNoob wrote: »
    JustaNoob wrote: »
    JustaNoob wrote: »
    I believe a lot of technological advances have helped us and hurt us in regards to weight. In the past, women worked hard at home with very few conveniences and that burned a ton of calories. Men also had fewer conveniences in the work place.

    Technology has grown a ton and so has the demand for convenience items as more women have entered the work force. Now both men and women are working, but the need for home upkeep hasn't changed.

    Technology that helps us burn fewer calories:
    Cell phones-- You don't have to walk to a wall phone or pay phone if you are stranded.
    Dishwashers-- Throw it in and let it wash.
    Digital books, movies, music-- you never have to walk into a store, you can just order from your couch
    Grocery services-- You don't have to shop for groceries
    Precooked/precut food-- You don't have to do all that, you can buy it premade.
    Robot Vacuums- Never sweep or mop again.
    Riding lawn mowers--Just sit and go.
    Fast Food-- Just grab and go.

    I think all of these little things add up. And of course, I wouldn't expect people to work 8 hours AND do all this from scratch. It just means we have to be more intentional than what previous generations did, simply because their daily duties helped them to burn more calories.

    Note: Women working isn't new. Historically, many women were engaged in the workforce as maids/household help or in industries like agriculture, textiles, retail, and food production. The picture we have of women staying at home is a pretty small slice of history and narrowly focused on an economically fortunate group of women. Women have always worked.

    Women have always worked, but they didn't always get a paycheck. Yes, women have been engaged in the workforce but I disagree that it's been more a fortunate "slice" that worked in the home. I think there may be a breakdown in how each one describes the workforce vs. the home. I think at home work was equally as demanding and important as going to a factory, and could include things like working the field and wrapping things up for resale, etc.

    Either way, just because women have always worked does not mean they haven't historically been held responsible (in pretty much every culture) to care for the home--not that I support this idea. It is both man and woman's responsibility to do what they see fit in their relationships. My argument is that technology and convenience items has helped to relieve women (and men) of that burden.

    So even though my mom was a single mother who worked 2 jobs, she was still taxed with the responsibility of coming home to burn a ton of calories and work more by cooking and cleaning. As technology advanced and convenience items became more available (when we could afford them) she was able to come home and rest more. So when people say "well my mom worked outside of the home but was still skinny in the 80s" I think there are a ton of small things their mom still had to to when getting home that made a big difference in her weight.

    You wrote that "more women have entered the work force." My point is that women have always been in the work force. In addition to caring for their home (which I agree is work), historically women have been engaged in the economy in other ways. The concept of a household where the man earns all the household money and the woman takes care of the home doesn't describe the economic reality of many women in history. Women traditionally have contributed to the household economy in multiple ways -- by working in family businesses, by going to the homes of others to work, by being enslaved workers, by going to factories or job sites to work, or by taking in work (laundry, sewing, wetnursing, etc).

    I understand your argument about household tasks, I'm just pointing out that our idea of women's economic participation tends to be rather narrow in that many of us imagine that women working is somewhat new.

    Statistically, women's participation in the labor force HAVE increased over the years in the US. This is a graph from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

    jfpnx2jm93eq.png

    I understand your point about women always contributing to the household economy. I think that maybe cases of enslaved workers, families business, and taking in work, may not have shown up on this list in the 60's.

    However, the OP asked about the 80s and I would think that these numbers would be more accurate. I stand by my previous statement-- more women HAVE entered the workforce.

    This goes back to what I was saying about "a small slice of history." There are more women in the labor force than there were in 1950, but 1950 domestic/labor arrangements are not representative of how women lived throughout history.

    But I wasn't not referring to history as a whole, nor did I see the OP referring to that. I was thinking about the 80s. I even thought through my "technology list" and included things from a more recent history rather than advances from the 1950s, like TV and radio.

    Respectfully, I think your "note" made assumptions about my view of history and nitpicked a small thing I said (that wasn't even incorrect) rather than my overall argument.
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Member, Premium Posts: 20,301 Member Member, Premium Posts: 20,301 Member
    lemurcat2 wrote: »
    People do often assume that the state of things in the '50s, and specifically for middle class and better off women in the '50s, was the norm (and use it even as a reason to argue that the current situation is a problem or some new thing), so I get the reason Jane felt it was important to clarify even though I totally accept that you were not making that assumption. For the purposes of comparing why people are more likely to be obese now vs the '80s, however, I think women working seems unlikely to be a huge difference. If you look at the chart (or find the numbers elsewhere, since it's hard to read the exact numbers from the chart), it was 51.5% in 1980, and 57.5% of women were in the labor force by 1990. The number peaked in 1999 (60%), and was at 56.8% in 2016. My mom worked outside the home in the '80s.

    https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/female-labor-force-participation-rates-2016-vs-1980?tab=table&stackMode=absolute&country=&region=World

    https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2007/jan/wk2/art03.htm#:~:text=Women's labor force participation, which,to 57.5 percent in 1990.

    I read a book sometime back about the rise of convenience foods (which began way before the 1980s, of course) and factors that made them popular -- interesting stuff like that cake mix was much more popular if you had to add an egg, as it allowed women to both make cake easily but also still feel like they were cooking -- so was googling around trying to find the name (failed), and saw something about processed foods in the '90s that seemed interesting. The point was that the American diet, on average, had gotten a lot more diverse by the '90s and processed foods started imitating that, leading to a huge explosion of options and probably tastier ones, on average. That definitely has happened with restaurants too, as well as the cooking styles of the average person who cooked, I'd bet. The general culture surrounding food seems to me to have changed, although it's hard to really prove this or put my finger on it.

    I admit that some of this could be my perception, since I live in a much bigger city than the one I grew up in, but I think it's more than that, and the average person now has been exposed to a much greater range of foods and has a far broader range of restaurants to choose from or things in the grocery store to try than we did in the '80s (although we did have plenty of high cal options and fast food and so on).

    FWIW: Speaking experientially, that's also very true here in my mid-sized metro area, many more food choices since the 1980s, both in restaurants and grocery stores. That, even though this place has a major university with a good-sized international student/faculty complement, so probably was more diverse even earlier than many places. (I've lived here since 1973.)

    Based on what I see (like FB posts from relatives living there), and what Google tells me, the small town where I grew up has more choices, too: In that case, we're talking a town of under 4000 population, that traditionally was a rural poverty area, and that serves outlying very-rural areas. Nearest actual city is around 25 miles away. When I was growing up, it was dive bars, a couple of "home-cooking"/non-chain family restaurants (meat loaf, fish fry Friday, hot pork sandwich . . . .), fast food joints (A&W, Tastee Freez), maybe a pizza place. Now there are those types still, but also a brewpub, bistro-type restaurant, Italian, Mexican, and more. It's numerically more dining-out options there (disproportionate to population growth), plus much more diverse. Ditto for groceries.

    Back on the main subtopic: My mom was a homemaker, with a very part-time job outside the home that she did mostly as a kindness to her employer (she did housekeeping chores for an elderly couple she'd long known, wife disabled).

    But many of my friends moms worked outside the home, usually at jobs with at least an hour's commute, and they did all the in-home domestic chores and cooking, too. Completely common to work 8 hours (or more), commute, and do all that manual work someone listed above. IME, men's work was more variable. My dad had a physical job, but would come home and tend the big garden, work on the current home improvement project, etc. Some friends' dads pretty much just mowed the lawn, did some other outdoor lawn chores, watched TV.

    Pre-WWII, it wasn't unusual for better-off (not necessarily rich) families to have live-in help. This is a kind of work that my mom did before becoming a nurse in her 40s (I was born when she was 43), and my dad's sisters pretty much all did for room & board while going to teaching college.
  • JustaNoobJustaNoob Member Posts: 114 Member Member Posts: 114 Member
    lemurcat2 wrote: »
    People do often assume that the state of things in the '50s, and specifically for middle class and better off women in the '50s, was the norm (and use it even as a reason to argue that the current situation is a problem or some new thing), so I get the reason Jane felt it was important to clarify even though I totally accept that you were not making that assumption. For the purposes of comparing why people are more likely to be obese now vs the '80s, however, I think women working seems unlikely to be a huge difference. If you look at the chart (or find the numbers elsewhere, since it's hard to read the exact numbers from the chart), it was 51.5% in 1980, and 57.5% of women were in the labor force by 1990. The number peaked in 1999 (60%), and was at 56.8% in 2016. My mom worked outside the home in the '80s.

    https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/female-labor-force-participation-rates-2016-vs-1980?tab=table&stackMode=absolute&country=&region=World

    https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2007/jan/wk2/art03.htm#:~:text=Women's labor force participation, which,to 57.5 percent in 1990.

    I read a book sometime back about the rise of convenience foods (which began way before the 1980s, of course) and factors that made them popular -- interesting stuff like that cake mix was much more popular if you had to add an egg, as it allowed women to both make cake easily but also still feel like they were cooking -- so was googling around trying to find the name (failed), and saw something about processed foods in the '90s that seemed interesting. The point was that the American diet, on average, had gotten a lot more diverse by the '90s and processed foods started imitating that, leading to a huge explosion of options and probably tastier ones, on average. That definitely has happened with restaurants too, as well as the cooking styles of the average person who cooked, I'd bet. The general culture surrounding food seems to me to have changed, although it's hard to really prove this or put my finger on it.

    I admit that some of this could be my perception, since I live in a much bigger city than the one I grew up in, but I think it's more than that, and the average person now has been exposed to a much greater range of foods and has a far broader range of restaurants to choose from or things in the grocery store to try than we did in the '80s (although we did have plenty of high cal options and fast food and so on).

    True. And modern conveniences could have come about whether women worked outside the home or not. I grouped the two-- but really technology has advanced regardless of women's roles.

    Like 3 years ago, I spent a month at this little school in the middle of nowhere in Mexico. (A friend was teaching there and I went to visit.) I never worked so hard in my life. The women made breakfast lunch and dinner from scratch every day for like 40 people. And when I say scratch, I mean.... grind down the corn for the cornmeal to make the tortillas. Cut the firewood for the stove. Roast the beans for the coffee lol.

    I was so out of my element because all I felt like I did was prepare for meals. Then after we finally cleaned up the final meal, the women would want to play basketball for 2 hours!

    This is where my mind went in regards to women and technology. I lost like 10lbs that month and I definitely ate all the tortillas, eggs, and beans that my heart desired. But I just burned so many calories.
  • JustaNoobJustaNoob Member Posts: 114 Member Member Posts: 114 Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    lemurcat2 wrote: »
    People do often assume that the state of things in the '50s, and specifically for middle class and better off women in the '50s, was the norm (and use it even as a reason to argue that the current situation is a problem or some new thing), so I get the reason Jane felt it was important to clarify even though I totally accept that you were not making that assumption. For the purposes of comparing why people are more likely to be obese now vs the '80s, however, I think women working seems unlikely to be a huge difference. If you look at the chart (or find the numbers elsewhere, since it's hard to read the exact numbers from the chart), it was 51.5% in 1980, and 57.5% of women were in the labor force by 1990. The number peaked in 1999 (60%), and was at 56.8% in 2016. My mom worked outside the home in the '80s.

    https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/female-labor-force-participation-rates-2016-vs-1980?tab=table&stackMode=absolute&country=&region=World

    https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2007/jan/wk2/art03.htm#:~:text=Women's labor force participation, which,to 57.5 percent in 1990.

    I read a book sometime back about the rise of convenience foods (which began way before the 1980s, of course) and factors that made them popular -- interesting stuff like that cake mix was much more popular if you had to add an egg, as it allowed women to both make cake easily but also still feel like they were cooking -- so was googling around trying to find the name (failed), and saw something about processed foods in the '90s that seemed interesting. The point was that the American diet, on average, had gotten a lot more diverse by the '90s and processed foods started imitating that, leading to a huge explosion of options and probably tastier ones, on average. That definitely has happened with restaurants too, as well as the cooking styles of the average person who cooked, I'd bet. The general culture surrounding food seems to me to have changed, although it's hard to really prove this or put my finger on it.

    I admit that some of this could be my perception, since I live in a much bigger city than the one I grew up in, but I think it's more than that, and the average person now has been exposed to a much greater range of foods and has a far broader range of restaurants to choose from or things in the grocery store to try than we did in the '80s (although we did have plenty of high cal options and fast food and so on).

    FWIW: Speaking experientially, that's also very true here in my mid-sized metro area, many more food choices since the 1980s, both in restaurants and grocery stores. That, even though this place has a major university with a good-sized international student/faculty complement, so probably was more diverse even earlier than many places. (I've lived here since 1973.)

    Based on what I see (like FB posts from relatives living there), and what Google tells me, the small town where I grew up has more choices, too: In that case, we're talking a town of under 4000 population, that traditionally was a rural poverty area, and that serves outlying very-rural areas. Nearest actual city is around 25 miles away. When I was growing up, it was dive bars, a couple of "home-cooking"/non-chain family restaurants (meat loaf, fish fry Friday, hot pork sandwich . . . .), fast food joints (A&W, Tastee Freez), maybe a pizza place. Now there are those types still, but also a brewpub, bistro-type restaurant, Italian, Mexican, and more. It's numerically more dining-out options there (disproportionate to population growth), plus much more diverse. Ditto for groceries.

    Back on the main subtopic: My mom was a homemaker, with a very part-time job outside the home that she did mostly as a kindness to her employer (she did housekeeping chores for an elderly couple she'd long known, wife disabled).

    But many of my friends moms worked outside the home, usually at jobs with at least an hour's commute, and they did all the in-home domestic chores and cooking, too. Completely common to work 8 hours (or more), commute, and do all that manual work someone listed above. IME, men's work was more variable. My dad had a physical job, but would come home and tend the big garden, work on the current home improvement project, etc. Some friends' dads pretty much just mowed the lawn, did some other outdoor lawn chores, watched TV.

    Pre-WWII, it wasn't unusual for better-off (not necessarily rich) families to have live-in help. This is a kind of work that my mom did before becoming a nurse in her 40s (I was born when she was 43), and my dad's sisters pretty much all did for room & board while going to teaching college.

    I remember I used to feel soooo adventurous and cultured eating sushi. Now new things come up so often that I haven't tried, that everything can be and adventure. And I hate eating the same things over again. But there are also so many options... I have no idea what I want lol.

    I live in the south and felt a little embarrassed that my mom worked growing up. All of my friend's moms either stayed home, or worked part-time jobs that allowed them to go to all the school events. My mom was a live in nanny for a family that had like 6 kids + me. We ate a lot of fish sticks and mac and cheese.
  • ythannahythannah Member Posts: 3,741 Member Member Posts: 3,741 Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »

    In the 1980s and before, people were required to move more in their jobs and daily lives (less automation, less market penetration of the automation that did exist). They also moved more, on average, via leisure-time recreation in the pre-internet/fewer-screens world of the time. In the 1980s and before, the 24x7 ubiquitous availability of gazillions of snacks was not even close to what it is now, and there was less social expectation/acceptance of people eating or drinking nearly constantly in virtually all situations.

    The McDonalds here used to close at 10 PM. Now the drive through is 24 hour. No drive through back then, you had to park your car and walk inside to get takeout. When I was in high school we would walk about a mile to go there occasionally, probably burned half the extra calories we ate.
  • lynn_glenmontlynn_glenmont Member Posts: 8,760 Member Member Posts: 8,760 Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    It's not just portion sizes. There's way more added sugar in things you wouldn't expect it to be in, like jars of pasta sauce.

    The recipe I used to make pasta sauce from scratch in the early 1970s (when we called it spaghetti sauce) had sugar in it. I don't know why people find it so unexpected that things like pasta sauce or catsup have sugar in them. It's a traditional ingredient. I wonder if this shock at sugar in pasta sauce is a side effect of people not cooking from scratch as much as they used to. (It's not much sugar, normally, either then or now. It's to mellow the perceived acidity, better balance the flavor, more or less.)

    In many jarred sauces, the added oil (also optional) adds more calories per serving than the sugar. Example: Bertolli Organic Traditional (supposedly one of the bad guys) has both soybean and olive oil, one of those two above sugar in the ingredient list so higher amount. Per serving, label lists 4g fat (36 calories), 2g added sugar (so 8 calories added sugar; 7g total sugar, including that from the veggies, so 28 calories from total sugar, most of which will've been in the tomatoes). There is negligible fat in any of the other ingredients, so the fat on the label is virtually all added oil.
    There was a documentary I saw a few years ago where a family wanted to eat healthier. The only change the producers had them change was that everything had to be made from scratch. They were eating the dames meals at the same portion sizes, everything was just home cooked. The whole family lost weight.

    Keep in mind that this "experiment" acts on body weight in two ways: The recipes/ingredients, and the movement involved in shopping/preparation/clean-up. Big amount? No. Maybe 50 calories, say? Seems plausible, modest, even. If one is trying to explain an obesity crisis that only requires a low-hundreds above maintenance intake, 50 calories X 21 weekly meals might be meaningful. It doesn't take many calories to go through the drive-through.

    I dunno. I agree with you on the negligible calorie effect of the added sugar, but I grew up eating homemade spaghetti sauce in the 60s and 70s, and I never saw my mom put sugar in it (of course, she wasn't Italian, and it wasn't simmer-all-day tomato "gravy," so I'm willing to grant it probably wasn't "traditional," and I've certainly read lots of recipes since those days that call for small amounts of sugar).

    The first time I tasted sauce from a jar, in my late teens, I was horrified. Instead of a tomato-ey, onion-y, meat-y savory sauce, it tasted like candy. I was glad I was old enough to know I was supposed to hide my horror, as it was a dish someone had brought to the house for a post-funeral gathering, so exclaiming like Lady Grantham, "take this foul dish away and bring anything to take the taste from our mouths" would definitely not have been a good look. :smile:
  • lynn_glenmontlynn_glenmont Member Posts: 8,760 Member Member Posts: 8,760 Member
    JustaNoob wrote: »
    JustaNoob wrote: »
    I believe a lot of technological advances have helped us and hurt us in regards to weight. In the past, women worked hard at home with very few conveniences and that burned a ton of calories. Men also had fewer conveniences in the work place.

    Technology has grown a ton and so has the demand for convenience items as more women have entered the work force. Now both men and women are working, but the need for home upkeep hasn't changed.

    Technology that helps us burn fewer calories:
    Cell phones-- You don't have to walk to a wall phone or pay phone if you are stranded.
    Dishwashers-- Throw it in and let it wash.
    Digital books, movies, music-- you never have to walk into a store, you can just order from your couch
    Grocery services-- You don't have to shop for groceries
    Precooked/precut food-- You don't have to do all that, you can buy it premade.
    Robot Vacuums- Never sweep or mop again.
    Riding lawn mowers--Just sit and go.
    Fast Food-- Just grab and go.

    I think all of these little things add up. And of course, I wouldn't expect people to work 8 hours AND do all this from scratch. It just means we have to be more intentional than what previous generations did, simply because their daily duties helped them to burn more calories.

    Note: Women working isn't new. Historically, many women were engaged in the workforce as maids/household help or in industries like agriculture, textiles, retail, and food production. The picture we have of women staying at home is a pretty small slice of history and narrowly focused on an economically fortunate group of women. Women have always worked.

    Women have always worked, but they didn't always get a paycheck. Yes, women have been engaged in the workforce but I disagree that it's been more a fortunate "slice" that worked in the home. I think there may be a breakdown in how each one describes the workforce vs. the home. I think at home work was equally as demanding and important as going to a factory, and could include things like working the field and wrapping things up for resale, etc.

    Either way, just because women have always worked does not mean they haven't historically been held responsible (in pretty much every culture) to care for the home--not that I support this idea. It is both man and woman's responsibility to do what they see fit in their relationships. My argument is that technology and convenience items has helped to relieve women (and men) of that burden.

    So even though my mom was a single mother who worked 2 jobs, she was still taxed with the responsibility of coming home to burn a ton of calories and work more by cooking and cleaning. As technology advanced and convenience items became more available (when we could afford them) she was able to come home and rest more. So when people say "well my mom worked outside of the home but was still skinny in the 80s" I think there are a ton of small things their mom still had to to when getting home that made a big difference in her weight.

    You wrote that "more women have entered the work force." My point is that women have always been in the work force. In addition to caring for their home (which I agree is work), historically women have been engaged in the economy in other ways. The concept of a household where the man earns all the household money and the woman takes care of the home doesn't describe the economic reality of many women in history. Women traditionally have contributed to the household economy in multiple ways -- by working in family businesses, by going to the homes of others to work, by being enslaved workers, by going to factories or job sites to work, or by taking in work (laundry, sewing, wetnursing, etc).

    I understand your argument about household tasks, I'm just pointing out that our idea of women's economic participation tends to be rather narrow in that many of us imagine that women working is somewhat new.

    Just adding one other category: working on the family farm (anything from tending the chickens and cows to working in the fields) (although I suppose it could fall under working in family businesses, but it's not the image that that phrase evokes in mind). My maternal grandmother tended chickens and milked cows helped on two-person jobs on the farm nearly her entire life. The idea that she wasn't in the workforce, but that my grandfather who was tending the field crops and the orchard was in the workforce, seems odd to me (I know that's not what you're saying, Jane).
  • lemurcat2lemurcat2 Member Posts: 7,303 Member Member Posts: 7,303 Member
    JustaNoob wrote: »
    Like 3 years ago, I spent a month at this little school in the middle of nowhere in Mexico. (A friend was teaching there and I went to visit.) I never worked so hard in my life. The women made breakfast lunch and dinner from scratch every day for like 40 people. And when I say scratch, I mean.... grind down the corn for the cornmeal to make the tortillas. Cut the firewood for the stove. Roast the beans for the coffee lol.

    I was so out of my element because all I felt like I did was prepare for meals. Then after we finally cleaned up the final meal, the women would want to play basketball for 2 hours!

    This is where my mind went in regards to women and technology. I lost like 10lbs that month and I definitely ate all the tortillas, eggs, and beans that my heart desired. But I just burned so many calories.

    Yeah, certainly, and if comparing now to the lives of my grandparents, I would see a huge change, but I remember the '80s in the US and although there was probably some degree of difference re at home tasks (with a huge variation among people both then and now), I just don't think household tasks were inherently a huge difference. The ubiquity of the computer and smart phones and time spent on them does strike me as a difference related to technology, though.

    (I get your thoughts were sort of sparked by the discussion but broadly about the affects of technology over a longer period of time, and that you weren't referring specifically to the '80s necessarily.)

    Just for fun, re working women, my grandmothers were born in 1910 and 1916. The first grew up on a farm so did chores there (and of course her mother worked on the farm). She then went to nursing school and worked as a nurse. After marrying my grandfather they homesteaded in Alaska, where she continued to work (in their small community) as a nurse and also ran a dry goods store with my grandfather at various times. My other grandmother also grew up on a farm, taught for a bit after high school (in her part of rural Nebraska apparently one didn't yet have to go to teacher's college), then married and worked on the family farm she and my grandfather had, and later in life was a local reporter.
    edited February 18
  • JustaNoobJustaNoob Member Posts: 114 Member Member Posts: 114 Member
    lemurcat2 wrote: »
    JustaNoob wrote: »
    Like 3 years ago, I spent a month at this little school in the middle of nowhere in Mexico. (A friend was teaching there and I went to visit.) I never worked so hard in my life. The women made breakfast lunch and dinner from scratch every day for like 40 people. And when I say scratch, I mean.... grind down the corn for the cornmeal to make the tortillas. Cut the firewood for the stove. Roast the beans for the coffee lol.

    I was so out of my element because all I felt like I did was prepare for meals. Then after we finally cleaned up the final meal, the women would want to play basketball for 2 hours!

    This is where my mind went in regards to women and technology. I lost like 10lbs that month and I definitely ate all the tortillas, eggs, and beans that my heart desired. But I just burned so many calories.

    Just for fun, re working women, my grandmothers were born in 1910 and 1916. The first grew up on a farm so did chores there (and of course her mother worked on the farm). She then went to nursing school and worked as a nurse. After marrying my grandfather they homesteaded in Alaska, where she continued to work (in their small community) as a nurse and also ran a dry goods store with my grandfather at various times. My other grandmother also grew up on a farm, taught for a bit after high school (in her part of rural Nebraska apparently one didn't yet have to go to teacher's college), then married and worked on the family farm she and my grandfather had, and later in life was a local reporter.

    Wow! Sounds like they wore a lot of hats! My grandmother loved to fish and worked at a family bait shop forever. My nana who was like 4'5 drove a huge big rig truck all over the US.

    I always laugh a little when I hear people talk about southern women being so conservative and not very feminist. Clearly you haven't met the women in my family and heard them sing loud and proud to Shania Twain's "Man! I feel like a Woman!" lol!
  • LB30LB30 Member Posts: 109 Member Member Posts: 109 Member
    A couple of things that have added to the trend of upward weight and waistlines is the increase in cheap fast food and convenience foods (loaded with fat/sugar) in peoples diets and the introduction of the computer, which influences more sitting than former generations ever did. I was born in the late 1950's, grew up in the 60's. It was rare to see a fat kid, rare to see anyone morbidly obese. Now, it's common.

    I'd agree with this. I was a teenager in the mid-late 80's. In my area (a small city), we had 3 local high schools so most walked everyday. No one in my particular school rode a bus. The schools all had multiple floors (all 1920's buildings), so up and down we went. We walked or rode bikes to practices, part-time jobs, extra-curriculars. 2 car families was a relatively new thing and even then, few parents freely gave the car to their kids unless it wasn't safe, or was too far, to walk or bike. Time with friends was spent walking the neighborhoods, at school dances or 18 & under dance clubs, roller skating, etc. Lots of activity that involved movement.

    Fast food and take out was more of a treat. And there weren't many big-box restaurants around. Most families ate at home. Supermarkets weren't quite as SUPER and portions weren't anywhere near what they are today. No computers, no social media/cell phones, and limited TV options - and then you had to get up to change the channel!. Not everyone was thin back then, or at any other time in history, but I think it is pretty fair to say that less were overweight and many of these reasons are why that is. JMO
  • ythannahythannah Member Posts: 3,741 Member Member Posts: 3,741 Member
    Screen-Shot-2020-05-15-at-10.45.29-AM.jpg

    If this handy little accessory isn't a sign of our times, I don't know what is.
  • SunnyBunBun79SunnyBunBun79 Member Posts: 1,932 Member Member Posts: 1,932 Member
    For those arguing that technology, convenience etc has made people fat...countries like Japan, China, India, Thailand have in so many ways, more conveniences and better tech than the US..but its cultural and its personal...people eat less in Asia... Rice and Roti are a huge portion of daily food but yet people are mostly slim. There is this whole " what will people think!" society as well...whereas in the UK and US, the usual mantra is " Dont tell me what to do".
    edited February 19
  • AchievinMyDreamAchievinMyDream Member, Premium Posts: 12 Member Member, Premium Posts: 12 Member
    sijomial wrote: »
    I honestly feel the difference is the introduction of high fructose corn syrup in everything.

    How would you explain the soaring obesity rates in countries like mine where HFCS consumption is negligible?

    It’s not the only thing. There are hormones in the meats we eat also. If they are giving animals hormones to produce more meat we would have to be getting those hormones also. It’s getting better but I have to watch what I buy and make sure it has trademarks that it is certified.

  • Mellouk89Mellouk89 Member Posts: 208 Member Member Posts: 208 Member
    Gym class in the 60s, needless to say it doesn't look like this today :

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