We’re fatter now that our forebears used to be, and apparently that’s true in the UK too. The Guardian of London ran an interesting piece looking at the causes:
“So what has happened? The light begins to dawn when you look at the nutrition figures in more detail. Yes, we ate more in 1976, but differently. Today, we buy half as much fresh milk per person, but five times more yoghurt, three times more ice cream and – wait for it – 39 times as many dairy desserts. We buy half as many eggs as in 1976, but a third more breakfast cereals and twice the cereal snacks; half the total potatoes, but three times the crisps. While our direct purchases of sugar have sharply declined, the sugar we consume in drinks and confectionery is likely to have rocketed (there are purchase numbers only from 1992, at which point they were rising rapidly. Perhaps, as we consumed just 9kcal a day in the form of drinks in 1976, no one thought the numbers were worth collecting.) In other words, the opportunities to load our food with sugar have boomed. As some experts have long proposed, this seems to be the issue.”
This article is about the UK, but I imagine the findings apply here too. We aren’t actually eating more, or exercising less. It’s what we eat that has made such a difference.
Memo to self: eat a small serving of potatoes for supper, not a bag of potato chips. Drink a glass of skim milk, rather than eating a cup of full fat yogurt with lots of sugar added to relieve the tartness. Have two eggs for breakfast, not a bowl of cereal. Snack on fruit, not cereal bars.
I can do this.