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How America Grew

A Timeline of National Growth


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  • Yes, portion sizes grew immensely.
    Would love some pictures to illustrate.
  • [1] I love timelines; by extension I love this one
    [2] I do not like 'articles' split up over 2 or more 'pages' (generally for the sake of advertising dollars); see Farhad Manjoo's "Website Pagination" article at Slate (Oct. 1, 2012) for more on this poor design decision
    [3] I wish this went beyond 2003, that it included "My Plate" and the like
    [4] I could do without the sanctimonious editorializing; no, the U.S. was not in a downward dietary spiral until SparkPeople came along, and the attitude in the 2003 entry and the one about the internet, for example, obscure useful points with needless snark

    That having been said ... I like timelines.
  • No wonder my generation is so overweight. Mcdonald's opened the year I was born. Thank goodness they have become more healthy.
  • I think that adding the creation (and use) of High Fructose Corn Syrup warrants a mention as well.
  • Supermouse35,
    I don't think he is blaming either one of those companies. He is just stating with those innovations, it made it easier to eat more processed foods.
  • Great article. Sad to read how the obesity problem has evolved over time.
    Wow the National Snack Food Month and its consequences are pretty shocking.
  • You're blaming Amana and Swanson? Seriously? Rather than pointing a finger at the McGovern Committee and their recommendations for a high carb/low fat diet, you chose to blame Amana? Wow.
  • Another great article from Mike Kramer. He is my favorite author, he has superior writing skills.
    I would use in our wellness program IF you made it current!!!! 1998 is kind of a funny place to stop!! Have there been NO signifigant milestones pertinent to your subject since then!!!???
  • Interesting article, thank-you. A logical explanation for why the average size for women today is a size 14. I have an interest in vintage & pre-vintage jewelry. Something I find interesting is that many necklaces from that time are ~ 15" give or take an inch. I also think that people then in general were smaller in size than people presently are. Add that to the time line & then people wonder why obesity has become such a problem.
  • I'm not surprised by any of this. I've always said that America's obesity epidemic started with fast food and t.v. dinners. People don't cook at home anymore. Some people have three meals a day at McDonalds.

    My grandparents ate the MN farmer's diet of hotdish, pot roast, etc., but were always slim and healthy, because they cooked their own meals with stuff that came from their farm, ate the right proportions, and only went to Hardees or something once in a blue moon. They were also very active and didn't sit in front of the tv and computer day and night.

    That's what has changed with the our waist size over the years: convenience. Instead of taking an hour to cook a meal, we throw something frozen in the oven or microwave, run to the nearest fast food joint, or order a pizza. It's all so, convenient.
  • Great article! I love timelineds like this.
  • Thanks for this article! It was fascinating to see the increase in serving sizes and the advent of the Snack Month!
  • I cannot believe there was a national Snack Food Month!!!! How horrible!!!

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