Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Portion sizes

I ran accross this blog post today by Amy Alkon over at Advice Goddess about how the FDA and serving sizes and it made me laugh out loud in several places.

(William Neuman in the NY Times) "Consider the humble chip: most potato or corn chip bags today show a one-ounce serving size, containing a tolerable 150 calories, or thereabouts. But only the most disciplined snacker will stop at an ounce. For some brands, like Tostitos Hint of Lime, that can be just six chips."

(Amy Alkon) "Here's a little assistance: If it says "Tostitos" anywhere on the package, it's bad for you."

So the FDA wants to, apparently, put the nutritional information on the package for the sized portion that the average American eats.

Holy fat cells Batman!  The average American fatty eats 1/3 of a BAG of crisps at a time, she cuts a 12 serving cake into only eight pieces (and sometimes eats two), he has three or four breadsticks at lunch, she eats half of the basket of nachos at the Mexican restaurant.

Sound like I'm just being mean?  Nope. I know.  I'm a former Professional Fat Person, remember? We know how to eat. The Professional Fat Person's goal is to eat herself to death and we do it just as hard as we can.

I used to buy candybars (two servings of death, each?) two and three at a time. I could eat an entire bag of Sweet Sixteen powdered sugar doughnuts - easily - in 15 minutes.

I think that the FDA's idea of adjusting the portion sizes is well-meant but will it do any good?  If Fatzilla sees that she just ate over half of the calories that she needs for an entire day out of a Cheezy Poof bag will it deter her?  Nope, IMHO.  She'll rationalize it. "I deserve it after the day I had." or "Oh, one day off the wagon won't hurt. I'll do better tomorrow." or "I didn't eat that much, I only ate half a serving".

Overeating is like alcoholism in many ways. Trust me. You tell yourself anything. You cry and rage and moan go on diet after diet and hate yourself and then keep eating.  You blame your sex, your age, your genetics.  You tell yourself that you "deserve" a treat, that you don't want to be "deprived" of bread and sugar cuz "life is short" and you want to live it!  Here's the one I hate the most: "I don't want to skip desert just so I can live a few more years an addled old fart in a rest home!"

That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard. 

Number one, I don't need dessert. I don't have to derive my pleasure from sugar and bread.  I get pleasure from newborn lambs and the early snow drops around my post box. I get pleasure from my children's drawings sent home from school. I get pleasure from the pinks and oranges in the clouds at sunset, from zoning out listening to my iPod while I sort clothes, and from, yes, eating. Eating an inch-thick steak, a slab of wild caught salmon, a new vegetable (just today I tried parsnips - nom!) steamed and doused in real butter.

Number two, skipping dessert will, I'm confident, help keep me OUT OF an old folks home!  I bloody well plan to be 80 years old and out hoeing my garden and gathering eggs. The sugar addicts who will end up sick, weak, obese, diabetic, and riddled with heart disease can have my bed. Not this kid. I plan on enjoying my grandkids and teaching them a thing or two.

So, overeating is like alcoholism. You lie to yourself, dodge the truth from friends, and keep destroying your health for your own pleasure.  The only way to overcome it is to make up your mind and just give the bad stuff up. Portion size adjustments, nutritional info on menues, etc is going to have very little impact.  We need to be going after the big boys: industrial agriculture; we need to be waging ad wars like they did with cigarettes (show the horrible effects of sugar on the body), and so on.
Most of all we need to STOP treating the overweight as victims. When we acknowledge that fat babies and toddlers are made fat by their mothers, that obese adults are not just people to whom some random misfortune has befallen but authors of their own fates, then we can help them help themselves.
Will we totally eleminate obesity?  Nope. There will always be Pro Fatties, just like there are still plenty of smokers. People can really be blind. But it would help, IMHO.


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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 12:49 pm   0 comments


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