Nice, concise summary of U.S. diet changes over the last century. Thanks for posting this.
If I recall, one slide says we’re consuming 425 calories a day MORE than we did in 1960. Assuming all other things being equal, that would translate into 44 pounds of fat every year. (A pound of fat is 3,500 calories.) Obesity should be much more prevalent than even 30% of the adult population we see today.
Of course, all other things are never equal.
Are we burning off those calories with physical work or exercise? Seems unlikely.
Can our bodies ramp up metabolism to burn off all those calories? Perhaps to an extent. But THAT much?
Are the calories going through our GI tracts and into the sewer? That’s a novel theory.
At best, the data could only be a very rough approximation. One can say with some certainty that on average, each person consumes more calories now than the average per-person consumption in 1960, but it is misleading to imply that it is possible to calculate an amount per person with any great precision.
But 1960s calories were a lot different than calories today. In 1960, there were not (to my knowledge; it was slightly before my time) artificial sweeteners…mochagrandecrackaccino supersized latte frozen drinks on every corner…soda came in 8-ounce glass bottles and was made with sugar, not HFCS (and was not something people drank 40-60 ounces of per day)…dining out at restaurants was a rarity, not a daily event (how many people today go to chain crap dens like TGIFridays for LUNCH at least once a week and HAVE DESSERT AFTER LUNCH? A lot. I doubt many people did back then.). There were probably 10,000 items to choose from in a large modern supermarket in 1960 (if that) and there are over 60,000 in a comparable store today. A varied diet and access to more, more, more leads to…weight gain. I can’t even get into the differences in lifestyle and clothing sizes back then. My mother was hopped up on amphetamines from the early 1950s until they were made illegal in the mid-70s to keep herself at no more than 105 lbs.
Weight Maven is written by Beth Mazur. Beth believes that obesity is more symptom than cause and that the real problem is our Western diet -- especially sugar, refined grains, and industrial oils. Beth writes about nutrition, ancestral health, & food policy. And cats! More »
This blog is the story of one woman's journey to understand the rising rates of obesity and apply it in her own efforts to lose weight. The information and opinions provided here are believed to be accurate and sound, but readers who fail to consult appropriate health authorities assume the risk of any injuries.