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How America Grew

A Timeline of National Growth

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We gain and lose as we progress. Change is eternal. Sometimes even the good gets left behind. Report
How about adding these to the timeline:

1911 Crisco invented, margarine, vegetable oil, and other transfat products become common.
1930's Physicians note a "heart disease epidemic" for the previously uncommon disease.
1950's Cholesterol identified as key player in heart disease. Vegetable oils and margarine become even more popular.
1970's and 80's Low fat foods become common. Carbohydrate replaces natural fat, for palatability.
1990's Science discovers connection between transfats and heart disease.

Not saying that this is the full story either, just that it needs to be included. Take the natural fat out of whole foods, and you have to replace it with something else, and the food becomes more processed and higher in carbs.
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Outstanding article! I was there for most of this! Report
Good article Report
Thanks Report
I remember many of these fads. Funny. I even touted low fat diets to my friends. Glad to know better now. Report
In addition to the comment about Swanson's creating tv dinners because people are busier, let's add that in the 1950's and early 1960's one income in a household could support, for many (not all ) families. Now it takes every adult (and sometimes even children) in the household to keep the finances afloat. This has led to new generations not knowing how to shop, how to cook or plan because they never saw it growing up. I work behind a culinary department and can witness that the majority of our younger people come in with no idea how to prepare food, or even coffee (come on, water and beans). This definitely pushes people towards convenient/fast food. Report
How sad that marketing and fast foods evolved with no regard for healthy foods. It is also sad that there are so many over weight people in America. Every where I look they are obese and continue to put chips, sodas, and other junk food in their car at the grocery storet. It is great that some of the fast food restaurants are beginning to add more nutritious foods to their menus, and some of the tv dinners are somewhat more healthy, but the damage has been done! But I say, if a person is really interested in their health, they will look in the mirror and make up their minds. Do they want to be here to watch their children grow up and get married and have children? Although I don't have any children, I have fur babies. And my answer is yes, I want to be here for them. Report
JANBROS
Kind of made me sad seeing how marketing and technology were used to encourage unhealthy choices/habits.
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When I visited Las Vegas in the 80's I was shocked at how big the portion sizes were and couldn't understand why! I thought that maybe I'd ordered a sharing plate! I thought then about how much waste there must have been - and I was brought up to clean my plate. I can't imagine how big restaurant portions are now! Trouble is it normalises what is not normal and people lose touch with what and how much they're eating. Report
I don't think getting more for your money or getting your money's worth is wrong. Why are we blaming fast food for our eating habits? You either eat it or you don't. The main problem is self control and knowing for yourself how much you should be eating. These people are not responsible for you. Sadly, I think the only problem here is being fed really disgusting almost inhumane food. Even still, people have a choice. You either eat it or you don't If you want to eat it, choose the right portion sizes. When i eat out I choose the smallest portion. but i'd like the option to remain if I feel like a day of eating a large size. Just saying Report
I didn't so much mind the shameless plug for SparkPeople, but the fact that the article ended on that note. Left a bad taste in my mouth, I'm afraid. I wouldn't mind a lighthearted nod to SparkPeople, but puh-leaze. SP isn't the savior of mankind! Report
When McDonald's first opened, your drink came without ice -- you had to ask for ice -- so it's possible your 10 oz cup held more soda than you get in a small drink today. Report
"During the next 49 years, eating out becomes less of an event and more of a necessity as people get busier and busier."

Many civilizations have favored eating out because of busy schedules or as a sign of status. The first I can think of is Rome. Cities in the Roman Empire were covered in little places where you could stop and get food (It wasn't exactly "health food" either). Often people lived in houses or apartments that lacked a kitchen. So, eating "out" was required for survival.

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what i'm curious about is why portion sizes increased in the first place. anyone got insight on that? Report

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