Obesity in the 70s

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13/12/2012 at 20:03

food is tastier now. everything is just so....tasty.

13/12/2012 at 20:07

and so much choice! it's all so heavenly i just can't help myself

13/12/2012 at 20:14

Whilst I think they were around in the 70's, I have a feeling it was only the 80's / 90's that saw them 'integrated' in to our way our life.

cougie    pirate
13/12/2012 at 20:24
The only food ads I remember from the 70s were for Smash. That's enough to put people off food. I'm going with the everything is tastier now theory too.
13/12/2012 at 20:32

I can just about remember the 70s , but I do seem to remember that far more family meals were cooked from scratch, rather than the processed stuff a lot of people rely on today.

cougie    pirate
13/12/2012 at 20:34
Spangles and pacers were special treats.
People have more money now - so they can spend more on food ?
IronCat5    pirate
13/12/2012 at 20:39
I remember Pacers! We ate proper meals and I'm sure things were less sugary.
My daughter is overweight for her age.
13/12/2012 at 20:44
There was no such thing as diet food back then. In the early 80s I probably spent as many hours playing football, riding chopper bikes and climbing trees as I do now marathon training. Back then it was normal but now people think I'm somehow extreme for doing 9 hours exercise a week.
13/12/2012 at 21:02
When I got married in 1979. I was 6ft4 and 19 stone exactly
13/12/2012 at 21:03
I'm the same age as you KK and looking back I feel that most people used to eat to
live. Yes, we tried to be healthy but on the whole, meals and food weren't really big deals and daily activity was just part of our usual routines. In contrast, these days people live to eat. There's an obsession with food with cookery programmes, celebrity chefs, more convenience food and fast food places. All encouraging us to involve food for more and more occasions from mid morning snacks, journey snacks, pre and post sport snacks, TV snacks, cinema snacks, sleepover snacks, snacks to help us relax, destress, feel energised, feel healthy etc. I remember doing sport after school and not eating until dinner in the evening. In contrast I see most mums giving kids snacks as soon as they meet them from school and if they are doing sport they expect big snacks before AND after! I think foods like crisps are so cheap relatively these days versus before and you see people stocking up on huge multipacks weekly.
13/12/2012 at 21:21

What about Fanny Cradock and the Galloping Gourmet - OK so there weren't so many TV chefs - but then there wasn't as much TV. 

I think a lot of it is just that we are more sedentary - more sedentary kids, more sedentary jobs.   A lot more cars - people drive to an out of town supermarket or shopping centre rather than walk round town etc etc.   In the 70s a lot of the older generation had been used to rationing in their youth too so that must have helped shape their eating and cooking habits.  

 edit - in fact they wouldn't have to be that old in the 70s to have experienced rationing

Edited: 13/12/2012 at 21:21
13/12/2012 at 21:27

Certainly not as much fast food.  Don't remember McDonalds opening in our town till I was at least 13, now there's a road near here with at least 20 takeaways.

13/12/2012 at 21:49
Millsy1977 wrote (see)
There was no such thing as diet food back then. In the early 80s I probably spent as many hours playing football, riding chopper bikes and climbing trees as I do now marathon training. Back then it was normal but now people think I'm somehow extreme for doing 9 hours exercise a week.

'Diet' foods have been around for decades, long before the 1970s. Just saying

13/12/2012 at 21:53

I remember Pacers.  I loved them.  But I was only allowed one sweet a day so a packet lasted me over a week.  These days food is so readily available that it is easy to eat two packs a day.

13/12/2012 at 21:58
kittenkat wrote (see)
cougie wrote (see)
Spangles and pacers were special treats.
People have more money now - so they can spend more on food ?

I think that's too simplistic Cougs, food was cheaper then, it's all relative. I think that (sweeping generalisation alert) our relationship with food has changed.

I think there is some truth in his statement. Particularly when referring to the availability of fast food and 'treats' like crisps, sweets and fizzy drinks. Most of these things have become everyday items for many as they are cheap now, when they where once maybe a weekly treat if that. When I was a kid there was no McDonald's, Burger king, Pizza Hut, KFC etc anywhere near where I lived. There was a Wimpy (remember them?) in Glasgow, but that was a once or twice a year thing at most. The only takeaway outlets was the chippy and Chinese and from my family experience these were rare treats.

Also we now eat far more carbs, which is fine if you exercise but exactly the wrong thing to do if you have a sedentary life style. As a kid in the 70's and early 80's pasta, rice (other than rice pudding), pizza were exotic fancy foreign foods only seen on shows like that TV bloke Keith Floyd! The government guidelines on healthy eating and the ratio of carbs they recommend are absurd if you have a more sedentary life style.

Also the growth of the supermarket. It's hard to think now, but what we take as our normal shopping experience is a fairly recent invention. That also includes the heavily marketed goods and access to cheap alcohol, and constant deals on fizzy drinks, crisps, biscuits and chocolates. Hence why these are no longer 'treats' for many and now everyday items.

Then add into the mix the decline in industrial and manual labour work since then. There wasn't an army of working class folk stuck to seats in call centres back then. Most working class folk would have been doing manual work that would have been burning up those calories. Also less phones/computers. You wanted to talk to someone you had to get up and go out and visit them. Plus as you only had three TV channels you would be less likely to have someone parked on the couch channel surfing. Even at that having a remote for the TV would have been rare, so even if you where lazy and at home if you wanted to switch the channel over you would have to get up off your backside.

As for kids these days, parental fear. How many kids do you see walking to school these days? How many cars do you see outside the school gates at opening and closing time? That just didn't exist when I was a kid. Not one single kid in my class was driven to school, but then only a handle of parents actually owned a car and it certainly wasn't used as a kiddie carrier.

In essence our lives have evolved for convenience and our comfort, but that means unless you actively monitor your diet and exercise it's extremely easy to be over weight, more so now than in any time in history.

Edited: 13/12/2012 at 22:01
13/12/2012 at 22:04
What "diet" foods were around back then? I don't remember seeing them or maybe I missed something when out shopping with my mum.
13/12/2012 at 22:07

I have always drunk diet coke.  I guess my earliest memories of it must be late 70's.

Nimble was a 'diet' bread too

13/12/2012 at 22:10

There was some "diet" foods about. My mum used to drink some awful fizzy drink called 1Cal. There was also those artificial sweeteners that looked like little pills she put in her tea rather than sugar.

cougie    pirate
13/12/2012 at 22:10
We didn't need diet foods cos people weren't fat !

Supermarkets are open 24 hours now. I remember when they used to close at 6 so actually getting to buy food was trickier. Now we don't even need to go out.

And restaurants - I dont remember going out much at all in the 70s. Now it's commonplace.
13/12/2012 at 22:14

there were plenty of fatties and lazy people back in the 70s,its all down to the individual,not heard of anyone being forced to eat junk food or stopped from exercising,What inspired you to run and be healthy?probably not obesity or junk food. 

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