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Our diet-obsessed culture

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  • psychod787psychod787 Member, Premium Posts: 4,015 Member Member, Premium Posts: 4,015 Member
    Theoldguy1 wrote: »
    psychod787 wrote: »
    ninerbuff wrote: »
    Because food for many is involved in RELATIONSHIPS. Family gatherings are built around food. So are major holidays. And because many times we only spend so little time physically moving, we normally eat more than we burn off. And of course with all the variety of foods, many of them are high calorie bombs. And lastly, in most industrialized countries with obesity problems, the PORTIONS are pretty big. Many times getting a portion that would feed 3 is given to 1 person.


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    Absolutely. I see nothing wrong with enjoying family holidays. Problem with it is, people will not just enjoy 1 Thanksgiving meal, they enjoy 3-4 of them. Our ancestors ate high calorie foods, but many of them did so only on special occasions and they remained lean. At least, the ones that only had them on special occasions. If we look at the "wealthy", they had the ability to get "special occasion" foods on a daily basis. Many became over weight or obese. Think Henry the VIII. Many people these days eat like a toddler decided their menus. Cake for breakfast. Not saying that is not ok sometimes, especially if you are one of the few people who account for it in their diets, but most people do not engage in eating behavior in this manner. Most just eat what appeals to them. So, that cake does not get accounted for, and in return they eat many calories more than they need to maintain body weight. Food today is just supernormal stimuli. We can't help ourselves. Our brains are not adapted to live in an environment where this kind of "food" is cheap and easily available. So, some people will literally have a relationship with food. They like this to the point that it kills them. People will secret eat, avoid going out with people because they want to eat, or are ashamed of it. Many will also eat themselves to the point that having an intimate relationship with a partner is hard. So, in the end, they choose a relationship with food over REAL relationships with people.

    You're wrong, the holiday isn't just one day, or even 3 or 4. The holiday season now runs from Halloween until New Year's Day.

    Everything has become a special occasion from the 2 full months of "holidays" I mentioned to when Ellie, who works down the hall, is having a birthday and there are treats (nevermind that you really don't like Ellie and the only time you go around her is on her birthday).

    Every time a kid has a sporting event have to bring treats to it for afterwards (and of course the parents eat some).

    IMO everyday has become "special" when it comes to food and our collective waistlines show it;

    agreed, I failed to think of it as the season.
    Theoldguy1 wrote: »
    vanmep wrote: »
    I think it’s evolutionary. Our bodies are designed to seek out and conserve calories for our very survival. Because of shift in society we have more than enough food but our brains are still in the mode of “must consume.”

    I'd sure like to think we're smarter than that with so many health problems made worse by obesity.

    you would think we would use the "rational" part of our brains for this, but I suspect that using the more "primitive" part of our brains is far easier for some.
  • LietchiLietchi Member Posts: 2,223 Member Member Posts: 2,223 Member
    judefit1 wrote: »

    I don't let the food industry off the hook. When marketing promoted cheap and convenient over fresh and healthy, we succumbed. When surplus dairy needed a market, they upped the ante.

    In my view, it's a bit of a two-way street though: there is of course the food industry who creates certain products, but on the other hand there simply is a market for some kinds of products, which they are tapping into.
    For example: in the days when one (male) bread-winner was the norm and the wife took care of the household (including cooking) there was less need for convience foods. But now, with so many households where both partners have a full-time job, so many single parent households and so many people who even have several jobs, the need for quick food options is probably a lot higher than before.
    Not saying it's the case for all less healthy foods (marketing is also great at 'creating' needs, not just tapping into existing needs) but some things can't be blamed entirely on the food industry.
    judefit1 wrote: »
    It is changing a bit.... we're more aware, and finding better food options. More awareness overall, better access to fresh produce, better quality and better prices. And there's sites like MFP for help- if we are informed and aware, we do better. And we do better together.

    Here as well, I think we're seeing (part of) the food industry respond to customers' changing needs: new companies offering alternatives to existing brands by offering better quality, existing companies changing ingredients and production methods, etc. I doubt they're doing it (entirely) out of concern for the health of their customers, I think we can influence a lot by how we decide to spend our money :smile:
  • charmmethcharmmeth Member Posts: 885 Member Member Posts: 885 Member
    I found Barbara Kingsolver's book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle really interesting in thinking about attitudes towards food. I thoroughly recommend it.
  • Sara3vegSara3veg Member Posts: 47 Member Member Posts: 47 Member
    judefit1 wrote: »
    This has been such a great response- and I love reading all of your insights! It's a complex question with as many moving parts as our bodies and our social interactions.

    For the most part, I've been a healthy eater and worker-outer- probably because my mom saw early that "junk food" was a problem for me and she was of a generation that prepared daily meals from fresh foods.

    But I am of an age to remember before and after the introduction of "convenience foods"- sugar saturated foods like "Shake and Bake", "Hamburger Helper", an ever-growing array of sweetened cereals in the 60s into the 70s.

    Like every kid of that age, I remember watching "Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs" and "I wish I were and Oscar Mayer Weiner"....(ad jingles of the 60s)

    AND: the ever-increasing drinking of soda at home, diet or regular, which went from 8-12 oz servings to an insane 32 oz "Big Gulp"

    AND: ever watch a football game now? How many commercials for high-calorie fat-laden foods do you see? Taco Bell, anyone? Cheese stuffed crust for your pizza- as if there wasn't enough cheese before??

    I don't let the food industry off the hook. When marketing promoted cheap and convenient over fresh and healthy, we succumbed. When surplus dairy needed a market, they upped the ante.

    It is changing a bit.... we're more aware, and finding better food options. More awareness overall, better access to fresh produce, better quality and better prices. And there's sites like MFP for help- if we are informed and aware, we do better. And we do better together.

    I'm here to do my due diligence. I won't log every calorie every day, nor every ounce of exercise. I will be on here to remain conscious of my choices- because when I don't, I'm fooling myself. No one else.

    I appreciate the fact that there is this forum to help us all and will keep looking for people whose responses help me do better for myself- thank you all!

    Growing up we were really poor and didn't have a tv, and I was taught at home so very isolated from other kids/outside influences. We gardened and canned, my dad hunted and we raised pigs and rabbits for some some of our own meat. We never ate convenience foods or went out to eat, because it was expensive. First time I went to a restaurant was in middle school, when my grandma took me to a McDonalds. Mind blown, LOL. When we would do road trips my mom would pack coolers (something my parents still do when they drive down south for the winter months). We did not drink soda etc etc.

    My mom has always been obese, my sisters were overweight as kids etc. So in my personal experience, the food industry had very minimal impact on my family's weight issues. What I learned as an adult is that my mom has an ED, which started by weight-related bullying that happened to her at a very young age (her whole family is/was obese and she was a target starting back in elementary school).

    There's so many layers to how people interact with food, and from my own experience and those who I'm close to that struggle, a lot of it has to do with mental/emotional things. All of the living women on my maternal side struggle with their weight, myself included. We all have different lifestyles though.
    edited June 2
  • psychod787psychod787 Member, Premium Posts: 4,015 Member Member, Premium Posts: 4,015 Member
    Sara3veg wrote: »
    judefit1 wrote: »
    This has been such a great response- and I love reading all of your insights! It's a complex question with as many moving parts as our bodies and our social interactions.

    For the most part, I've been a healthy eater and worker-outer- probably because my mom saw early that "junk food" was a problem for me and she was of a generation that prepared daily meals from fresh foods.

    But I am of an age to remember before and after the introduction of "convenience foods"- sugar saturated foods like "Shake and Bake", "Hamburger Helper", an ever-growing array of sweetened cereals in the 60s into the 70s.

    Like every kid of that age, I remember watching "Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs" and "I wish I were and Oscar Mayer Weiner"....(ad jingles of the 60s)

    AND: the ever-increasing drinking of soda at home, diet or regular, which went from 8-12 oz servings to an insane 32 oz "Big Gulp"

    AND: ever watch a football game now? How many commercials for high-calorie fat-laden foods do you see? Taco Bell, anyone? Cheese stuffed crust for your pizza- as if there wasn't enough cheese before??

    I don't let the food industry off the hook. When marketing promoted cheap and convenient over fresh and healthy, we succumbed. When surplus dairy needed a market, they upped the ante.

    It is changing a bit.... we're more aware, and finding better food options. More awareness overall, better access to fresh produce, better quality and better prices. And there's sites like MFP for help- if we are informed and aware, we do better. And we do better together.

    I'm here to do my due diligence. I won't log every calorie every day, nor every ounce of exercise. I will be on here to remain conscious of my choices- because when I don't, I'm fooling myself. No one else.

    I appreciate the fact that there is this forum to help us all and will keep looking for people whose responses help me do better for myself- thank you all!

    Growing up we were really poor and didn't have a tv, and I was taught at home so very isolated from other kids/outside influences. We gardened and canned, my dad hunted and we raised pigs and rabbits for some some of our own meat. We never ate convenience foods or went out to eat, because it was expensive. First time I went to a restaurant was in middle school, when my grandma took me to a McDonalds. Mind blown, LOL. When we would do road trips my mom would pack coolers (something my parents still do when they drive down south for the winter months). We did not drink soda etc etc.

    My mom has always been obese, my sisters were overweight as kids etc. So in my personal experience, the food industry had very minimal impact on my family's weight issues. What I learned as an adult is that my mom has an ED, which started by weight-related bullying that happened to her at a very young age (her whole family is/was obese and she was a target starting back in elementary school).

    There's so many layers to how people interact with food, and from my own experience and those who I'm close to that struggle, a lot of it has to do with mental/emotional things. All of the living women on my maternal side struggle with their weight, myself included. We all have different lifestyles though.

    I can agree that the convenience food industry is not completely to blame. People can make the same kinds of foods at their own homes, using cheap, easy to get ingredients. Where we can get in trouble is, when they are available everywhere, with little effort to obtain, at a low cost. I suggest looking at optimal forging theory if you are not familiar with it. As far as ED. Well, I have been learning about many. Maybe had/have one or two per a therapist, who had no idea how to help me btw. My circumstances are unique to say the least. I personally think that it is getting harder to separate certain ED's from the types of food we consume regularly. Most people are not secretly eating apples, or bingeing on carrots. I think there might be a few, but not many. I saw a list of most binged foods reported by people who have BED. They include, candy, chocolate, pizza, pastries, and chips. Foods who's macro profiles release loads of dopamine in our brains. JMHO Still learning......

    **edit** wanted to add, that I think there is a genetic component that causes some people to carry more body fat than others. That would not be a huge problem if we did not live in the food environment we live in now. I think that some people are wired to have larger appetites and have lower restraint around energy dense? high reward foods.
    edited June 2
  • mylittlerainbowmylittlerainbow Member Posts: 762 Member Member Posts: 762 Member
    judefit1 wrote: »
    I'm getting off the seesaw...

    Everybody has made some really great points here. But I want to go back to the OP and congratulate you on this conclusion that you've drawn. That is so healthy, psychologically and emotionally as well as physically, and this determination can drive your decisions for the rest of your life. Good for you!
  • nossmfnossmf Member Posts: 1,279 Member Member Posts: 1,279 Member
    ...I can get a whopper or 6 ounces of blackberries for roughly the same price.

    Price is a huge factor. On a military base I where I used to work, the cafeteria offered a large gamut of food offerings. Now, this is a military base, where the bulk of the people living/working there should by definition be physically fit and ready to respond on a moment's notice to defend our nation. Yet eating healthy was almost discouraged; you could get a lean roast beef sandwich, apple and water for $10, or a double bacon cheeseburger, fries and soda for $7.
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