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How America Grew

A Timeline of National Growth


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  • 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.
  • On the subject of soda...old Coca-Cola bottles held 7oz!!
  • Very interesting and so important when we are now finally concentrating on the obesity problem in our children and youth This is one reason I am a big supporter of our first lady who has taken this issue one of hers.
    As far as restaurants what we get is based on what we buy Look and get all the "skinny' options-after making sure they are truely healthy This will keep encouraging them
  • I was born in 1953 and lived through nearly all of this history. What I didn't live through, I learned in health class. I started my life on a working farm,

    For those who attack the article as biased, I suggest that it is not unfair. It goes so far in balance as to mention the competing Weight Watcher's organization and while it doesn't mention the controversy, it does not fail to identify the introduction of the food pyramid as an important milestone.

    The decision to track portion size is fascinating and crucial. I think the article is valuable and useful.

    As for its self congratulatory ending: that is expected. After all, it's an in-house article written for in-house consumption. It is up to independent evaluation organizations to weigh and review various web sites and weight loss strategies. The Spark People has made a valuable contribution and is entitled to say so in its own article.
  • interesting to hear how we grew with Fast Food!-- Happy I found Spark to help re-educate me!
  • I don't believe it has turned around very much--- Look at the ads on TV--They are mostly food related---Go into a restaurant--not too many display THE CALORIES IN THEIR MEALS (ALTHO SOME HAVE THEM TUICKED AWAY IF ASKED)- There is a long way to go to educate people--- Spark is at least trying to get us motivated--but we must spread the Spark more!
    Probably the most biased article I have read on this site. Though informative, it is off-putting. Though Spark People is a helpful tool, it is not the end-all be all in the battle of the bulge. More of self promotion than an educative piece of literature.
  • And to think this is all they will know unless we eduate them. The children of this day and age are larger than we were at the ages they are now. This was very good info and an eye opener. If you notice the time lines, that's when these diet clinic, etc came along. Wow and thanx!
    Wow - that was informative. It's strange to see it all spelled out like that...
  • I encourage people to stop in at a thrift store some time, or an antique store. Look at the plates and cups of the 1960s and earlier. That will be a real eye-opener.

    I remember when the Big Gulp came out. Who on EARTH could ever drink that much soda? That same 32 oz is now just a "large" drink at a drive-thru.

    Yes, Virginia, I remember 10-oz sodas from my early childhood - and I am 49.
  • I grew up before fast food...we DID have drive in places I remember, A & W Rootbeer, and Foster Freezes . I remember Bob's Big boy too, but you went IN and ordered.

    None of the food from these places came FAST, like today. And may have been alot healthier, I don't know.

    The other thing is, as a kid, we had CHORES, NO TV, NO computers, and were mostly outdoors playing....burned off what we ate, unlike kids today.

    But this article is SO right on, about how America has gained, except for the fact along with this time line, was the DECREASE in exercise....Schools no long REQUIRE P.E. for graduation!!! BIG factor in fattening up everyone in America.
  • What most people fail to realize is that years ago during our grandparents and great grandparents life time, they didn't have "fast food". They ate real food which they prepared. And so their life expectancy was that much greater. They were feeding their bodies living enzymes for a living body. Now adays, you feed the body dead processed foods that have no living enzymes in them, the body becomes weak, sick, diseased, and eventually dies much sooner. So if people would just eat real foods, nutrient dense foods, then they would find that they would not be so hungry all the time. They are litterally starving themselves to death while stuffing themselves with dead foods in the process. No wonder people are in the shape that they are in.

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