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(The Atlantic)   In today's big fat American news, CDC publishes "new (ab)normal" portion-size infographic, featuring bloated pedestrian icons of now instead of trim pedestrian icons of the 1950s   (theatlantic.com ) divider line 74
    More: Amusing, infographics, fats, fast foods, pedestrian icons, hamburgers  
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6132 clicks; posted to Geek » on 23 May 2012 at 6:15 PM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-05-23 03:59:27 PM  
To be fair on the soda, did they have as much ice in them in the 1950s? Generally like 85% of that giant cup is filled with ice.

I've worked with a few immigrants who have talked shiat about America and our 64oz soft drinks, then they order a 12oz one with no ice. End of the meal, they're probably the one drinking more of that junk, because everybody else's is so watered down.
 
2012-05-23 04:05:36 PM  
FTA: A Fast Food Burger Is 3 Times Larger Now Than in the 1950s

To be fair, so are most Americans.
 
2012-05-23 04:26:31 PM  

serial_crusher: I've worked with a few immigrants who have talked shiat about America and our 64oz soft drinks, then they order a 12oz one with no ice. End of the meal, they're probably the one drinking more of that junk, because everybody else's is so watered down.


You really think you couldn't pour a can of pop into a 64oz cup filled with ice with room to spare?
 
2012-05-23 04:31:19 PM  
For anyone who finds those 50s portion sizes difficult to believe (I did, at first), consider that currently, a regular McDonald's burger is 3.5 ounces, and a small fries is 2.5 ounces. Unless you're Michael Phelps, that's probably enough to fill you up if you'd just give your stomach time to realize it's full, and enough calories (480) for a reasonable lunch. Heck, splurge a little and get a cheeseburger, and you're only up to 530 calories.

I'm still a bit iffy about the supposedly 42 ounce average soda, but certainly even a medium drink is 20 ounces, so we're drinking more soda as well. Especially if you're getting regular soda, that's a lot of calories.

Oh, and don't get me wrong - I love to eat quarter pounders and get large fries and Super Big Gulp sized sodas. That's one reason I look the way I do.
 
2012-05-23 05:02:16 PM  

Osomatic: Oh, and don't get me wrong - I love to eat quarter pounders and get large fries and Super Big Gulp sized sodas. That's one reason I look the way I do.



Like a cartoon with a smoke hanging out of your mouth?
 
2012-05-23 05:05:57 PM  
If the sizes from the clothing found in the retro clothing store is any indicator. It's doubtful that many Americans could find clothes in their size from the 70's. Clothing from the 40's was not only much thinner but also for shorter people.

Also saw an infographic about how muffins have grown in size since the 80's to almost triple their size today.

Can someone who was alive in the 50s tell me how often people ordered more than one burger or fries? Was portion size similar to what was eaten by the majority?
 
2012-05-23 05:16:04 PM  
12 ounce burger? is that bun included?
 
2012-05-23 05:20:13 PM  

old_toole: Osomatic: Oh, and don't get me wrong - I love to eat quarter pounders and get large fries and Super Big Gulp sized sodas. That's one reason I look the way I do.


Like a cartoon with a smoke hanging out of your mouth?


I hate to break this to you, but that's not a photo-realistic image of me. I just meant that I am fat. Oh, and I just quit smoking but it's only been like 3 days so CAN WE PLEASE NOT TALK ABOUT IT!
 
2012-05-23 05:27:20 PM  

RobertBruce: 12 ounce burger? is that bun included?


Looks like it. (As it should be-- the bun, ketchup, etc. all add calories.) It's also worth noting that these are the CDC's average numbers of restaurant meals, so they're also including the ridiculous portions at your TGI Friday's/Applebee's/Chili's/Denny's/etc. type places.
 
2012-05-23 05:34:03 PM  
Holy crap. The original Coke bottle was 6.5 ounces? No wonder they could drink those all the time.
 
2012-05-23 05:37:18 PM  

Makh: Can someone who was alive in the 50s tell me how often people ordered more than one burger or fries? Was portion size similar to what was eaten by the majority?


I can go back to the mid/latter 60's, when I was a kid. When we'd go to McD's, Dad would get 2 regular burgers, small fry, small soda (but he did a very physical job). 5 of us-3 kids and 2 adults-would get a 12" pizza and a drink.

I started cooking in '72, and I know from experience how insane portion sizes have become-what we feed an 8 year old now was about a standard portion then.
 
2012-05-23 05:39:15 PM  

ecmoRandomNumbers: Holy crap. The original Coke bottle was 6.5 ounces? No wonder they could drink those all the time.


And it was Pepsi, way back when, that threw the first lob in the soda wars by offering a (gasp!) 12 oz. soda for the same nickel.
 
2012-05-23 05:51:07 PM  
Here's a data source on sodas, covering 73,000+ Americans.

tl;dr version: Americans drink larger sodas now, and they drink them more frequently than they did in the 1970s.
 
2012-05-23 06:11:03 PM  

Makh: If the sizes from the clothing found in the retro clothing store is any indicator. It's doubtful that many Americans could find clothes in their size from the 70's. Clothing from the 40's was not only much thinner but also for shorter people.

Also saw an infographic about how muffins have grown in size since the 80's to almost triple their size today.

Can someone who was alive in the 50s tell me how often people ordered more than one burger or fries? Was portion size similar to what was eaten by the majority?


I was born in 1952 and on the rare occasions my family ate out, portions were smaller than nowadays. About the only time that I saw someone order more than one burger, hot dog or other type of sandwich was if it was a teenage boy.

Also, nowadays it's quite common for people to eat out more than once a week, and some do so on a near daily basis. In my youth eating out was a rare treat that occurred maybe 2-3 times a year. The rest of the time meals were cooked at home, from scratch. We drank soda back then too, but not anywhere near the amount that people do now. My grandma would buy a 6-pack of 12 oz bottles (usually Pepsi or 7-Up) and that lasted my sister & I three weeks (1 bottle apiece per week). The rest of the time we drank milk, juice or water.

We didn't even have a fast food restaurant in our area until the mid-60s (local chain). McDonald's didn't open in our area till the late 60s).
 
2012-05-23 06:30:14 PM  
7 oz soda? Get the fark out of here!
 
2012-05-23 06:33:28 PM  

Bathia_Mapes: In my youth eating out was a rare treat that occurred maybe 2-3 times a year.


I was born in '60, and we did maybe 5 times a year-probably 3 of those being A&W in the summer (root beer float and a hot dog-the kids summer dream meal!).

Also, probably like you, no soda in the house-birthdays, usually, to go with the cake. Milk and water and OJ.
 
2012-05-23 06:36:05 PM  
42 ounces? Ptthhttt

media.tumblr.com
 
2012-05-23 06:38:26 PM  
That infographic is 3D proportion fail.
 
2012-05-23 06:48:21 PM  
And yet, because of the 4000-5000 calories/day our forefathers ate, 40% of which came from drinking beer, we won the freakin' revolutionary war!* Bigger portions ARE better - especially bigger portions with beer!

*Loosely taken from 'United Stats of America'
/I'm sure I'm not the only one who saw that.
 
2012-05-23 06:53:09 PM  
As people get fatter we will have breakthroughs in diabetes treatments and will just start growing new hearts from our own stem cells. It's called progress people. Read a book.
 
2012-05-23 06:54:35 PM  
I was all happy to get a can of root beer as a gift today (hard to find in Sweden), but then I saw that it was sweetened with HFCS. Whatever craving I had for it went away.
 
2012-05-23 06:56:59 PM  
As a teacher, I can say, there is nothing worse than fat educators. Fatties should be removed from the educational system for modeling their fat-enriched lifestyles.
 
2012-05-23 06:57:09 PM  

swahnhennessy: I was all happy to get a can of root beer as a gift today (hard to find in Sweden), but then I saw that it was sweetened with HFCS. Whatever craving I had for it went away.


Don't you mean "corn sugar"?
 
2012-05-23 07:10:01 PM  

robmilmel: Bathia_Mapes: In my youth eating out was a rare treat that occurred maybe 2-3 times a year.

I was born in '60, and we did maybe 5 times a year-probably 3 of those being A&W in the summer (root beer float and a hot dog-the kids summer dream meal!).

Also, probably like you, no soda in the house-birthdays, usually, to go with the cake. Milk and water and OJ.


With us it was usually Kool-Aid at birthday parties (unless it was for an adult, then tea & coffee too). We only went to A & W when we were going to the drive-in theater. They were on the same side street and sometimes we'd stop to get a paper carton of root beer to go with the large paper grocery sack of homemade popcorn. On rare occasions we'd have dinner there before going to the drive-in theater, but most times we'd bring along a picnic lunch or eat dinner at home beforehand.

I miss A & W's burger family (Papa, Mama, Baby).
 
2012-05-23 07:10:17 PM  

lake_huron: swahnhennessy: I was all happy to get a can of root beer as a gift today (hard to find in Sweden), but then I saw that it was sweetened with HFCS. Whatever craving I had for it went away.

Don't you mean "corn sugar"?


Oh, that's right! After all, if it comes from corn, it can't be bad for you.
 
2012-05-23 07:10:46 PM  

swahnhennessy: I was all happy to get a can of root beer as a gift today (hard to find in Sweden), but then I saw that it was sweetened with HFCS. Whatever craving I had for it went away.


That's unfortunate.
 
2012-05-23 07:12:40 PM  

lake_huron: swahnhennessy: I was all happy to get a can of root beer as a gift today (hard to find in Sweden), but then I saw that it was sweetened with HFCS. Whatever craving I had for it went away.

Don't you mean "corn sugar"?


Thankfully, that won't ever come to pass. I hope.
 
2012-05-23 07:13:30 PM  
What's an ounce?
 
2012-05-23 07:15:23 PM  

claytronica: What's an ounce?


A sound made by the music at a rave, but that's not important right now.
 
2012-05-23 07:16:48 PM  
I was born in 1915, they hadn't even invented food, we ate small grubs that we dug out of the yars
 
2012-05-23 07:19:40 PM  
caution before eating:

t0.gstatic.com

/first thing i thought of
 
2012-05-23 07:20:17 PM  

TravisBickle62: I was born in 1915, they hadn't even invented food, we ate small grubs that we dug out of the yars


www.atariage.com
 
2012-05-23 07:22:30 PM  

Bathia_Mapes: I was born in 1952


Really??

You type much younger.
 
2012-05-23 07:29:47 PM  
So Slyders used to be considered full size burgers?
 
2012-05-23 07:33:10 PM  

bogey: So Slyders used to be considered full size burgers?


yeah. and they contained actual meat.
 
2012-05-23 07:42:26 PM  

lake_huron: TravisBickle62: I was born in 1915, they hadn't even invented food, we ate small grubs that we dug out of the yars

[www.atariage.com image 400x479]


Best. Game. Ever.
 
2012-05-23 07:56:47 PM  
Has anyone ever looked at vintage clothes from the 40's to 60's?

They remind me of a slightly larger version of what is worn in some asian countries, with regards to size.

Some of that is fat, yes, some of that is also real bone structure changes over the last 60 to 40 years.

/More body, more food.
 
2012-05-23 08:07:19 PM  

Enemabag Jones: Has anyone ever looked at vintage clothes from the 40's to 60's?

They remind me of a slightly larger version of what is worn in some asian countries, with regards to size.

Some of that is fat, yes, some of that is also real bone structure changes over the last 60 to 40 years.

/More body, more food.


I still have some vintage dresses from the 1950's stored away in the basement. I wore them a lot in grad school.

My favorite one was an electric green form-fitting satin sheath. Marked size 8. At the time, I wore a size 4 petite in jeans, had a 34A bustline, and could easily fit into current junior's - and some children's - clothes. So anyone who wasn't stick thin, by current standards, would have had trouble finding ready-made clothing back then.
 
2012-05-23 08:14:15 PM  
Heh, you can still get 1950's portions at McD's!

Regular hamburger, dollar fries, dollar drink! $3 for the same meal your grandfather ate when he was taking your parent out for a fun day!

Granted, the burger is no longer proper ground beef, the bun is no longer real bread, and the soda is more chemical than it used to be.

Cost of labor has gone up so much over the decades that the necessary minimum tab due per customer for profitability is wildly more expensive than the food itself. In order to provide perceived value for the expense, restaurants have increased portion size to reflect the price on the menu. Of course, this has the interesting effect of skewing what gets perceived as a "normal portion" by the consumer. The only reason McDonald's is able to provide those old smaller portions at their commonly-perceived value ($1) is as a "loss leader" function. It keeps staff busy filling small orders in-between the real moneymakers.

It costs more than $1 to serve you that single hamburger, but those 14 seconds of prep time might have gone idle had you not been there to order it. It's the exact same manufacturing mentality used in machining and fabrication. Fill every second of up-time with work, even if it isn't profitable, because your fixed costs are slowly killing you.
 
2012-05-23 08:22:54 PM  
The infographic deceptively presents the data, and I don't much like the data themselves

Yes, there are the monster-burger and monster-drink places....but the McDonald's and Burger King burgers remain (uncooked) "eight per pound" and the Burger King Whopper is still a "four per pound" uncooked patty. McD's *regular* drinks haven't gotten all that much bigger, and I'll bet that's true of their fries as well.

Are they (and their competitors) *offering* larger-portion options? Sure. But I don't know about "averages" spoken of in TFA.

/Atlantic, you disappoint me in your sensationalism.
 
2012-05-23 08:34:18 PM  

Kuroshin: and the soda is more chemical than it used to be


Given that essentially everything is chemicals, I guess you are suggesting that soda used to have a larger proportion of some exotic matter, or dark energy or something, and now the amount of that has been reduced and the proportion of chemicals like H2O have been increased?
 
2012-05-23 08:50:25 PM  

xria: Kuroshin: and the soda is more chemical than it used to be

Given that essentially everything is chemicals, I guess you are suggesting that soda used to have a larger proportion of some exotic matter, or dark energy or something, and now the amount of that has been reduced and the proportion of chemicals like H2O have been increased?


Even while typing that, I knew some pedant would chime in.

Would you rather I spend a paragraph defining the origin of each compound, and how that relates to historical recipes? Perhaps a treatise on the processes used to extract and form new molecular chains, either not found or found only in undesirable natural materials?

Or you could knock it the fark off and admit you know what I meant, even if it wasn't technically correct.
 
2012-05-23 08:59:35 PM  
I'm eating a huge burrito from my local dirty taco shack, so I'm feeling kind of fat.
 
GOB
2012-05-23 09:07:38 PM  

lockers: lake_huron: TravisBickle62: I was born in 1915, they hadn't even invented food, we ate small grubs that we dug out of the yars

[www.atariage.com image 400x479]

Best. Game. Ever.


Seconded.
i39.tinypic.com
 
2012-05-23 09:13:54 PM  

Enemabag Jones: Has anyone ever looked at vintage clothes from the 40's to 60's?

They remind me of a slightly larger version of what is worn in some asian countries, with regards to size.

Some of that is fat, yes, some of that is also real bone structure changes over the last 60 to 40 years.

/More body, more food.


I have my grand dads ww2 marine dress uniform. Granted he may have only been 5'9 or so but that thing seems absolutely small when I look at it.

/being in the pacific in ww2 may have had something to do with it.
 
2012-05-23 09:15:27 PM  

GOB: lockers: lake_huron: TravisBickle62: I was born in 1915, they hadn't even invented food, we ate small grubs that we dug out of the yars

[www.atariage.com image 400x479]

Best. Game. Ever.

Seconded.


That was my favorite Atari game.
 
2012-05-23 09:25:36 PM  
That graphic is abusive. Scaling the dimensions of the images linearly to the increase in proportion is highly misleading. Should be to the cube root of the proportional increase.
 
2012-05-23 09:44:39 PM  
FaaaaaAaaaaaaaattttttttttt
 
2012-05-23 09:58:23 PM  
That whole "calories in calories out" noise is busted. It's all about insulin spikes.
 
2012-05-23 10:07:07 PM  

Makh: Can someone who was alive in the 50s tell me how often people ordered more than one burger or fries?


I remember eating at McDonald's in the early 60's. We most definitely had more than one burger per meal. Those things were not much bigger than White Castle sliders.
 
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