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From 10 ounce to 21 ounce cups

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Did you read today's insider article, How America Grew:

It had some interesting points and even missed a few.

I eat out sometimes. I always have to ask what their "small" pop size is. When I first started working at my first job for McDonald's, their small cup was really a small. It was that 10 (or might have even been 8) ounce cup that is really a serving size. It grew shortly after that to a 16 ounce cup. Now a "small" varies from store to store. Sometimes it still is a 16 ounce, sometimes it's a 21 ounce cup. Occasionally you can still find that 16 ounce cup where a place sells a small as 21 ounce, but the 16 ounce is on their "value" menu.

That is the most frustrating thing to deal with, especially when out with my mother. She will still automatically order a "medium" value meal thinking it's the 21 ounce cup. Then she receives a 32 ounce cup and is confused. I try to run interference before she orders the wrong size cup and seems to always get mad at me for knowing which size she wants.

I also remember being able to order "small" fries. I'd love that option still. McDonald's does not have small fries anymore. It has those kids ones for the happy meals and then it goes to medium, which was absent for a while when there were super-size fries. "Would you like to super-size that?" was what we were supposed to ask.

I'm not old enough to have seen the original "tv dinners", which were put in the oven and heated that way, still took about a half hour to prepare. Now they're in plastic containers and usually take about 5 minutes from frozen to dinner. They're so loaded in sodium that you're usually getting your sodium for about half your day. Many boast "more than a full pound of food!" A pot pie can hold 650 calories in one pie and is supposed to serve 2, but do you know many people that will split a microwave meal?

Something the article didn't hit upon was the invention of the tv tape recorder and the video game industry. At one point if we missed our program, we would have to hope that it would re-run. In the 70's we had the ability to tape our program and watch it later at a more convenient time. That gave us the ability to sit on the couch watching more tv than ever before.

Then when there wasn't anything on tv we wanted to watch, we could spend hours playing video games, starting with those two little lines and a dot in Pong. It evolved into more complex games for us to master with Mario, Zelda, and Pac Man. Now we carry our games with us everywhere on mobile devices.

I guess I'm of the last generation that knew what life was life without any of those "conveniences". I wasn't glued to my computer then like I am now. There was no internet like we know now. It was simply for research at the beginning. Now we're completely "social" on the computer. The younger generations don't really know how to be face to face with people. They sit in the same room texting each other instead of having a verbal conversation. They don't know what a "small" should really look like. Everything is bigger and faster than ever before and nothing has to be waited for.

No wonder people get frustrated when they don't get to their "ideal" weight as quickly as they would like.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Great post, but sad, too. As a nation, we are obsessed with more, more, more. More food, more TV, more toys, more things. Plus, of course, we want it all fast! Now! And, we wonder why we are all maxed out! Not just in size, but in mental bandwidth. I don't know the answer, and I know we (the U.S.) aren't the only ones with this problem. Hopefully, somehow, we can make a cultural shift. Personally, I try to take baby steps to reduce and simplify. It's hard because we are bombarded with ads pushing the opposite.
    1946 days ago
    I also use salad plates. I haven't had a soda in years, other than seltzer water. I DO like the bubbles! emoticon
    1946 days ago
    We have definitely redefined "normal" in this country in food, dishes, furniture and people. A whole generation is growing up with a distorted idea of normal.
    1966 days ago
    I have kept our "salad" plates for our everyday plates for this exact reason - they're about 7" and just fine. I only get out the "dinner" plates if we're having something messy like tacos so they aren't all over the table. Portion size is definitely something to be on the lookout for, and like you said before (I think it was you), to get enough of GOOD FOR YOU food, you don't have to eat as much. :)
    As for the video games - I was just having this talk Mon with my kids - who wanted to play handhelds in the truck. I said ya know, it's a LOT easier to just plug you in and not hear you fight, but do you think that's what life is all about?! They put them down and we talked the rest of the way. It's a very hard line to balance, and we struggle every day, but I'd rather put up the fight to get the machines put away than bow down to it. Thanks for the reminder and motivation to emoticon
    1967 days ago
    Last year a museum near where I live had an exhibit for the Titanic which included plates. The sizes of the plates were so small in comparison of what they are today. They were able to do so much more physically with much less food. Makes you really think about portion control. emoticon
    1968 days ago
    After joining Sparkpeople, I took a good look at what a proper portion or serving is and I have never looked back. But your blog is a great reminder that I will not go back. Portion control is in!
    1968 days ago
    Portion size was one of the biggest shockers for me when I joined SP!
    1968 days ago
    Portion sizes in all those things are ridiculous, and youknwo what's even more ridiculous? The fact that at all those places, if you ask for a cup for water instead, they still give you an 8-ounce cup! Really? I would LOVE a 32-oz cup for water. I'll pay the soda price just so I don't have to fill up five times every meal. Sheesh.
    1968 days ago
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