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How America Grew

A Timeline of National Growth


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  • MJMMJM10
    It wasn't that our forefathers (certainly in the UK) had low calorie diets. Diets of the 1930s to 1950s would be frowned on today. Cooked breakfasts, hunger satisfying lunches and multi course dinners provided a high carbohydrate, high protein, often high fat but not a high sugar diet. In the context of a worlds where few families had cars, where men walked or cycled to physical jobs while woman had a range of physically difficult household chores, it was an appropriate diet. (Although we shouldn't lose sight of the fact that when WWII started, a percentage of volunteers were found to be so malnourished that they needed to be put on feeding programmes before being trained as soldiers...and that childhood conditions linked with malnutrition still existed).
    There was never a dietary golden age.

    The issue IMHO is that generally we have replaced this diet with an "all you can eat" sugar filled diet while becoming less active. We don't even need to burn energy from food to keep warm in our temperature controlled houses and we burn little due to domestic gadgets and cars. In reality, we take more energy from oil and coal and need less from food.

  • Excellent article! Thank you!
  • I wish everyone in America would join SP and get a clue. I don't mean that in a mean way at all--I think we've all become clueless over the years due to these sort of incremental changes. Remember when we used to play games as a family or watch one 30 minute tv program and that was enough? I don't think we are as busy as we think we are--we just fill up our time with meaningless stuff that makes us feel stressed out and bad. Mental junk food is very similar to junk food. Quality is better than quantity in every aspect of life. Thanks, Mike, for writing such a great article. I love that SP always boldly tells the truth!
  • Fashion has INCREASED sizes so what use to be a size 14 is a 10, but people THINK they are still a 10 and that is so misleading. What was a size 5 is now a 0 and men's sizes are so much larger, with LOOSE-FIT, RELAXED FIT, etc. I find this to be what is sad. I look through my 1967 High School Yearbook and we were ALL thin, except for a couple of kids.
  • This article was very informative
  • All the Spark People articles are good, but this one is outstanding. I notice that any written by Mike are exceptional. This should be published everywhere, so guess it is up to us to Spread the Spark!
  • I loved your article i find it to be very informational.
  • this article was very informational. great job!
  • Great article. It is honest and shows all the small changes that led us to where we are now. I believe small changes can get us back to healthier people.
  • Loved this chronicle of food-related history as it progesses with 'progress' toward what are in fact bad habits with relatively swift momentum until we reach the end, and think: "ahHA! The solution to this nonsense is right here, indeed!" Of Course!
  • What a great article! Had we known how obese our nation would get, we wouldn't have thought the 'progress' would have been so great.
  • I am so very impressed with SP, they DARE to publish the truth---we are overweight and it was a series conscious and deliberate actions by those who should have sought to protect us. ....and all for profit, their profits came before our that we know, fight..fight back by exercising and eating healthy.
  • TSANC01
    Wow! Interesting, I will definetly post this at work tomorrow.
  • very interesting reading!
    It kind of looks like things started to go down hill beginning in 1954 and continued with MacDonalds the next year............
    Pretty bad when no one was clueing into the real problem when a diet group was developed in 1963 to help with weight loss.
    Would have been better to have shut down fast food places or forced them at that time to change their menu.
    Whoopee along comes more fast food places.
    Would things have been different at this point in time if someone had shown the amount of calories, fat and sugar in all food?
    Would things have been different had we all known how many calories we needed to survive?
    In 1967 along comes the microwave making it easier to stuff our faces with along comes liposuction to suck it all out so portions could be increased in 1977.
    Oh goody snack food gets it's own month to celebrate......and we head into the 90's no wiser as low fat comes on the scene to make it easier to get fat.........less fat meant eating more sugar and salt and we all know what that does to us.
    Finally we get the web in 1991 and someone decides we should stack all the food to show people what we should be eating but the general population has no idea how many calories they are consuming and on it went.
    Instead of portion control and exercise being introduced some yahoo introduces a fake fat....Olestra so we can continue to eat more and continue to get fatter but that's ok cause we have liposuction to suck it out at our convenience, if only we could afford it...

    Finally along comes someone in 2003 with the common sense to introduce Spark People a program that can actually help every man, woman and child on this planet.
    If this program could reach every family member we just might put an end to obesity.

    Sorry I'm so long winded but it is good to see the truth smacking us in the face.
    Spot on !!

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