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How America Grew

A Timeline of National Growth


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  • Fascinating. What is now a "kids meal" (and not even a "big kids meal") was originally a meal meant for any average adult, and was a treat, not a regular weekly or daily meal. It's amazing how much has changed in as little as one generation.
  • Thank You Cris Downey for bringing us this site to open our eyes and give us HOPE!
  • The fattening of America documented in one short essay! Sad but true!
  • Yet another perspective on how corporate greed is decimating what was once the most prosperous nation on earth. I'm so thankful for SparkPeople & other grassroots efforts that are trying to rescue us from this nightmare.
  • That was an interesting perspective on what has happened to American eating habits in a relatively short period of time. I'm personally encouraged by the presence of nutrition info at more food establishments and it certainly makes it easier for me to keep track of my calorie intakes. Getting used to being satisfied on the proper portion size does take some time.
  • It's amazing to see it broken down like that. My grandmother eats what I had always considered (before I came to SparkPeople!) really tiny portions, but she always says it was how she was raised. I was raised with the "You can't leave the dinner table til you've cleaned your plate," which was massive. Seconds were always welcomed! Look how far we've come...
  • Thank you 2003 for returning hope!
  • In a world of instant gratification, it is challenging to go back to basics. Thank goodness for SparkPeople. I have to re-learn to get healthy so that I can start living again. Thanks, Spark!
  • Very insightful information. That's why I order kid's meals when I do eat fast food, just for portion control.
  • How ironic- while not trying to ignore my own responsibility- makes you wonder about all the so called "labour saving devices" and all the extra large and supersized this and that just to sell us more STUFF- isn't the corporate profit motive part in all of this??
  • There are many culprits to blame. One is NOT Weight Watchers. I did not like the attack on a company that has helped millions and also teach a lot of the same messages Spark teaches.
  • We don't need to go back in time, in fact doing that would hurt us because we'd make the same mistakes! We need to redefine our portion sizes starting at home! To begin with, get rid of oversized bowls, plates, mugs and the like! When you go out, save money by getting more bang for your buck and dividing the meal in two so that the other half is for later. The world won't change until we change!

    We as humans always want convenience. In 17th century England the whole city was a fast-food city because no one had stoves and barely half the houses had kitchens. People ate street food which isn't much different than street food today (butter fried, salted, sugared for preservation). Traditional ideas of peasants represent them as more healthy because they had to farm vegetables and couldn't afford meat, but they also suffered malnutrition and high mortality rates for infants and child-bearing mothers!

    I wouldn't want to go back in time, not even fifty years. Let's go "retro" and bring back the vintage plates, go "peasant" and farm our own vegetables in our apartment lots. We can learn from the past by taking the good and remembering the bad. Sparkpeople is a great tool not in and of itself, but because it promotes individual responsibility as well as accountability to a larger group of friends on the same journey.
  • My parents treated fast food as a HUGE treat. Like once or twice a year we would adventure to McDonalds to get a HAMBURGER, not a 1/2 pound angus with cheese and mayo and all that, but a HAMBURGER or if we went to Burger King (my father's favorite) my brother and i would be allowed to SHARE a Whopper JR!.

    Unfortunately (and obviously because I am here) as late adolescence and early adulthood hit, I took matters into my own ill-concienved hands and had taken this rarity and turned it into a regulartiy. Its taken me until recently to realize I am not only doing myself no good, but I need to re-educate my preschooler about healthy food choices. Nope, its not normal for a 4 year old to be able to eat 6 chicken nuggets and "small" fries.

    Now we get to splurge by going to subway where we get turkey sandwiches with no cheese or mayo and we get lots of veggies and apples instead of fries. Funny how as a kid, she doesn't miss the fat-laden nonesense of convienence. Maybe there is hope out there! And thanks to SP, I have seen the light!!!!
  • DIANE2110
    I've been through all this and yes, I've got the body to prove it. The important fact is that FINALLY people are waking up and smelling the coffee. I just wish I had heard of SP in 2004! I love you SP! : )
  • Scary. Wish we could go back in time! I seriously hate how large portions are, it's frustrating. And sodas, goodness! Self control can be a very hard thing for some people and making portions larger and larger seems just plain cruel. I wish I lived somewhere else. So many places I have been to in Europe still have small portions and normal sized drinks. Such a nice change. I just hate how we have molded our food to our fat.

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