Supersize We: How portion sizes are correlated with our gluttony
"Gluttony is an emotional escape, a sign something is eating us."
- Peter De Vries
As I wander through the labyrinth of my local grocery store, I cannot help but notice how things have changed. Metal carts overflowing with food and the once prevalent "market" section is now gleaming with the reflection of glass doors and the glow of brightly colored boxes, frozen meals ready for consumption. It was not always this way. I can still remember when I would travel to the store with my mother, help pick ripe fruit and vegetables for the family. This memory now clouded with the current sight of a child sitting in a cart ...view middle of the document...
This abrupt cultural awareness started with a simple documentary produced by Morgan Spurlock called, "Supersize Me." In this documentary, Spurlock ate solely at McDonalds for thirty days straight to see what kind of implications it would have on his health. The outcome of Spurlock's new diet shocked his doctors and millions of viewers. Spurlock gained 24 ½ pounds, had a cholesterol level of 230, and was showing signs of liver failure due to excessive amount of fat accumulation.
I decided to go on a similar adventure to discover why we have changed our diets and how portion sizes have grown to what they are today. I wanted to see where, in my life, have things changed and how they may be affecting others. I began my adventure at my old high school located in a south suburb of Chicago. I remember when I would stand in the endless line of students awaiting the selection of sustenance that was prepared by our lunch "Chef" Mrs. Giza. She stood five and a half feet tall, her alabaster hair was motionless in the weave of her hairnet and her smile was clearly visible from every table in the lunch room. She has been working for the school for over twenty years as a lunch lady and she always managed to bring a smile to our faces with her jokes and "outlandish" sense of humor. I contacted Mrs. Giza with the hopes that she could shed some light on how student’s diets have changed over the years.
Mrs. Giza explains,
"About ten years ago, I noticed a real change in the diets of the students. For one thing, More students were buying their lunches, previously we only had to staff three lunch employees and we hired two more in one year to make up for the increase in lunches sold. Additionally, the school decided to employ the services of a school meal provider. It made our job much easier but the food that we sold was obviously not healthy for the students. The pizzas were larger and the number one food that I had a problem with was the Texas Burger. A large patty of beef covered in barbeque sauce and topped with fried onions and cheddar cheese. This was our Thursday special and I think almost every student waited in line for it.”
I vividly remember the Texas Burger and let me tell you, it tasted like heaven on a bun. But now I have a different perspective because from my recollection I ate quite healthy in high school. Wait, did I? Yea I ate the Texas Burger every Thursday, but I stayed healthy and the chicken tenders did not seem that bad. It's quite obvious now that I did not know or care enough about what I consumed because I lacked experience and honestly looked for something good to eat. I advise you to look back at your high school years. What did you eat? Did your school have a similar menu or perhaps a similar provider for your monstrous mid-day meal? It seems as if our guardians forced us into this new era of diets when we were young. Just as the perceptions of my diet misled me back in high school, I believe this misperception of what is...