Sharing The Blame Of My Obesity



For the longest I've taken full responsibility of my obesity, blaming myself because of the weight I became, after all, no one forced me to eat. After watching the documentary Fed up, I realize how there are a lot of outside contributions. For one,  misleading portion sizes. I've already written for my love of pizza rolls, but never knew how to pay attention to serving sizesas a child. If you look back at there commercials, they show a generic mom bringing a plate of pizza rolls to two kids to share, but not two individual plates with the actual serving sizes. The plate she brings has a ton on it, even if you divided the portion in two, it would still be more than there serving size, which is 6. I've never done less than ten at a time, kids like me seen commercials with big plates full and considered that the normal. Even as child though, I don't believe I could have been satisfied with 6 measly pizza rolls. In the early 2000s they started selling them in small boxes, boxes came across kind of TV dinner-ish, with most people, especially myself assuming that a box was a serving. The boxes in reality were about two.

In commercials you rarely see people eat the portion size of the product they are selling. Just yesterday I watched a Heinz ketchup commercial where a father poured ketchup up on his child's fries, and my first thought was "that's way more than a serving size!" I love ketchup, I still use ketchup, but the mantra for ketchup (in the U.S.) has always been that it's the condiment that goes with everything. Pouring til you think you have enough is the norm. If you told the average person that a serving is a tablespoon they would think it was ridiculous. It's never been marketed in that way. The calories are small sure, but 160mg or more of sodium is down right toxic, not that it isn't manageable, but most people don't think about it, ketchup seems non-threatening and it is, but the way it's been marketed to us, and the way we consume it is where the danger is. We don't realize the dangers lurking in our food.

We all know I love pizza, it's my favorite food. The other day I randomly started singing an old school jingle from an old Pizza Bagel commercial. This was the song "pizza in the morning, pizza in the evening, pizza a supper time, when pizzas on a bagel you can have pizza anytime!" This commercial played heavily between my favorite cartoons. Naturally I wanted them, they were selling the idea of pizza for breakfast to children. Not a hard sell. Aside from creating an unhealthy image of breakfast, it burned it's brand in my head, if they weren't disgusting, I would probably be a lifelong customer. Because of marketing.

Processed food and nutrition

I'd say I was brought up on a good amount of processed food. A single mom raising three boys  while battling depression, stomach ulcers, reoccurring migraines and tendinitis, cooking 3 meals a day was just too much, food industry's frozen processed pizzas, chicken nuggets, and various other goods filled the void. In addition to cutting down her time required to cook (she still cooked dinners most nights), it was also a lot cheaper. And honestly I personally preferred it, while my brothers preferred her home cooked meals which became almost exclusive to Sunday's, I loved frozen quick foods because it meant I could have my favorite foods everyday, versus hoping we'd have pizza, or chili dogs, and end up disappointed with meat loaf, or pork chops (boring!). The difference between moms home cooked meals and processed foods were profound. I just didn't know it. When mom made a home cooked meal with X meat, and X veggies, I always ended up satisfied. While an entire tostitos pizza to myself, would leave me hungry an hour later. And this is where things fall into place. I'm hungry hours later so I eat more processed food, I eat until I finally reach that point, but then I go past it.

Most processed food has little to no nutritional value, it simply took more, and with all the salts and sugars they load them with, my body never gave me quite an accurate "done" feeling, at least not one I could decipher as a child, teen, young adult.  I was stuffing myself with hundreds,  thousands even maybe, of excess calories to fill in the gaps of processed food. None of us knew adequately about nutrition, even my doctors as a child never gave us advice on the matter, even as I continually gained weight. They told us diet and exercise would fix me eat more salad, cut back. Of course we started buying diet-branded processed food, and my salads never ever served a purposes with the amounts of dressing I put on them. Try telling a kid that two tablespoons of ranch is all they can have for an entire bowl of leafs! No one did, but it wouldn't have gone well.

Food consumption misinformation by the big food corporations, and lack of regulation from the government (because of big foods, big money) I share the blame of my obesity with thee.

Comments

  1. We definitely live in an environment where eating normal portion sizes of real food isn't made easy! And "serving size" is nothing like what you expect. I once worked out from a packet of jelly snakes (don't know what you would call them in US, a bit like gummy lollies) that a serving, given by weight on the packet, was two and a half snakes. Who eats two and a half? As well as being a tiny amount, you have to cut one in half!

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  2. When I first started measuring my food to lose weight, I couldn't believe how small a serving size of some things were. A serving of pasta or cereal is so much smaller than people think!

    I love condiments; could eat them plain. So easy to overdo.

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    ReplyDelete

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