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Extreme obesity and paper plates. Question for people in the USA

FatgonegirlFatgonegirl Member Posts: 121 Member Member Posts: 121 Member
Sorry if this is not the correct board.

I watch My 600lb Life - I know I should be ashamed but I find it entertaining. One thing that puzzles me is the number of people shown eating from paper plates using plastic knives and forks. It is not everyone but it is fairly frequent. Is this a common practice in the USA?

In England, disposable crockery and cutlery are only used at gatherings where the host does not have sufficient pottery plates and metal cutlery or for children's parties as a novelty. Possibly the participants on the show are not fit enough to fill the dishwasher or wash up by hand. However, they often have family members who could undertake the task.

Is paper plate use linked to eating junk food or is it a common practice across the general population?
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  • ninerbuffninerbuff Member, Greeter Posts: 45,685 Member Member, Greeter Posts: 45,685 Member
    Sorry if this is not the correct board.

    I watch My 600lb Life - I know I should be ashamed but I find it entertaining. One thing that puzzles me is the number of people shown eating from paper plates using plastic knives and forks. It is not everyone but it is fairly frequent. Is this a common practice in the USA?

    In England, disposable crockery and cutlery are only used at gatherings where the host does not have sufficient pottery plates and metal cutlery or for children's parties as a novelty. Possibly the participants on the show are not fit enough to fill the dishwasher or wash up by hand. However, they often have family members who could undertake the task.

    Is paper plate use linked to eating junk food or is it a common practice across the general population?
    Normally if someone that obese is always eating that way, it's likely due to take out (or take away in England).

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  • COGypsyCOGypsy Member Posts: 675 Member Member Posts: 675 Member
    I’m trying to become a better global citizen and use fewer paper plates. I always use metal silverware, but until the last year or so, anything I couldn’t eat out of the container got plopped on a paper plate. I rarely cook though, so most of what I eat is either takeout or stuff I order from Splendid Spoon type places. I usually don’t even need to use my own dishes whether they’re paper or porcelain.
  • missysippy930missysippy930 Member Posts: 2,521 Member Member Posts: 2,521 Member
    Hardly use them ever. Sometimes for picnics or family gatherings with a lot of people. Even camping we have reusable plates/utensils.
  • paperpuddingpaperpudding Member Posts: 7,125 Member Member Posts: 7,125 Member
    Here in Australia it is not at all common to use paper plates for everyday meals.
    Have never known or heard of anyone doing so
    More for bbq's or parties or picnics - and some people use washable plates for those things too.

    Incidentally it is getting less common to get disposable plastic cutlery - seems more and more cardboard cutlery, presumably for environmental reasons.
  • lillyblack1982lillyblack1982 Member Posts: 57 Member Member Posts: 57 Member
    When I was an adolescent/teenager in the 90s, my parents always bought a huge stack of paper plates. We had lots of regular plates as well. We tended to use the paper plates for things like toast and microwaveable snack foods, but always ate meals off of regular plates. The thinking was if it "wasn't worth dirtying a regular plate" you would eat it off a paper plate. As a kid/teen I didn't think much of it. Maybe my parents felt like growing kids dirtied too many dishes with all the snacks. I was always within a normal weight range, my parents were overweight. As a teen I washed dishes but maybe every other day, it was never a thing to wash dishes after every meal. I never buy paper plates now that I'm an adult, and my eating habits have also changed quite a bit.
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Member, Premium Posts: 21,960 Member Member, Premium Posts: 21,960 Member
    (snip)
    Is paper plate use linked to eating junk food or is it a common practice across the general population?

    I'd suggest being wary of making any inferences from "reality" TV shows - any inferences at all.

    Others have covered lots of the reasons people might use paper plates/plastic utensils in the US. I'd guess that most of us use or have used them sometimes. (Example: Last weekend, I went to a potluck lunch at my rowing club. People used paper plates and plastic utensils. We could've brought our own reusable dishes/utensils from home, and washed them at home later (no running water at the boathouse). No one did.)

    Other than takeout that comes to me on a paper plate, I never use those at home for myself. (I might use a paper plate to take cookies to a neighbor, or something relatively rare like that; I have some in the house.) I keep utensils in my car for takeout that I don't eat at home (often plastic utensils I've kept from situations where they were provided, then I took them home, washed them, throw them in a closed container in the car). Those who are physically able, with easy access to good water, and who think it's desirable to avoid creating excess waste, are likely to do things reuse plastic utensils, I suspect.
  • callsitlikeiseeitcallsitlikeiseeit Member Posts: 8,163 Member Member Posts: 8,163 Member
    we rarely use them.

    the old homesteader we help out quite a bit uses a lot of disposable tableware but he has a hand dug well, so its not deep and water availability/ conservation/ usage is an issue and he is not physically able to stand and wash dishes, really. so, in his case, it makes sense.
  • kshama2001kshama2001 Member Posts: 25,150 Member Member Posts: 25,150 Member
    I only use them for large gatherings.

    Frankly, unless there are health/mobility issues that physically prevent you from doing dishes, it's just lazy and environmentally irresponsible to use disposable plates/cutlery on a regular basis.

    "I don't like doing it" is a lame excuse. Does anyone LIKE doing the dishes? We do it because we are adults who understand that not everything has to be enjoyable.

    Well said. I HATE flossing, but do it every night.

    We do have a dishwasher, but I only use it for large gatherings. I'll have to time regular cleanup for the two of us. It's less than a half hour - probably closer to 15 minutes since I clean as I prep. I put on the TV, radio, or podcast and get it done.

    Growing up, Mom cooked and Dad and we kids did the dishes.

    When Mom took over her father's house, she removed the dishwasher and replaced it with a cabinet for storage. She cooks, and my brother does the dishes.
    edited September 16
  • kshama2001kshama2001 Member Posts: 25,150 Member Member Posts: 25,150 Member
    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    Sorry if this is not the correct board.

    I watch My 600lb Life - I know I should be ashamed but I find it entertaining. One thing that puzzles me is the number of people shown eating from paper plates using plastic knives and forks. It is not everyone but it is fairly frequent. Is this a common practice in the USA?

    In England, disposable crockery and cutlery are only used at gatherings where the host does not have sufficient pottery plates and metal cutlery or for children's parties as a novelty. Possibly the participants on the show are not fit enough to fill the dishwasher or wash up by hand. However, they often have family members who could undertake the task.

    Is paper plate use linked to eating junk food or is it a common practice across the general population?

    Most likely they are getting take out/delivery. Using paper plates on the daily isn't particularly common I don't think. I'm sure some people do it, but I don't know anyone personally who uses disposable plates and flatware on any kind of regular basis.

    I use it only when I'm camping or we're going for a picnic in the mountains or something.

    Here takeout provides plastic ware, but not paper plates.

    If the "My 600lb Life" people's delivery service is not providing paper plates, I'm assuming they use them because mobility issues make washing dishes difficult.

    @Fatgonegirl: I've watched the show too, and don't feel guilty about it - I love transformation stories! I can't remember though - after the surgery, towards the end of the show - are they using regular plates and utensils?
  • ritzvinritzvin Member, Premium Posts: 2,822 Member Member, Premium Posts: 2,822 Member
    Typically, I'd say that they're mainly just used for outdoor gatherings & picnics. Or indoors for a party with quick-cheap-takeouty-type things like pizza and wings.

    Although lately, I'm finding that more and more people get various takeout or buy pre-prepared foods at the grocery on a daily basis... using paper plates for the things not already in eating containers would probably be somewhat more common versus using them for meals cooked at home.
    edited September 16
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