Author Topic: As women get bigger, models get smaller  (Read 28816 times)

Offline Monika

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Re: As women get bigger, models get smaller
« Reply #70 on: June 22, 2012, 10:04:26 pm »
If I had to work two jobs just to feed the kids at home (like many Americans do), I doubt I would have the time or the inclination to always buy and cook healthy food. I fully understand if many people are caught up in simply trying to get by and put food on the table.

Offline Front-Ranger

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Re: As women get bigger, models get smaller
« Reply #71 on: June 23, 2012, 11:18:48 am »
Poverty and obesity are two issues that I'm really interested in. The two don't always go hand in hand. When I visited Nepal, which is one of the poorest nations on earth, I never saw an obese person the whole time I was there (I saw a few overweight climbers, but they were from other richer countries). In fact, most Nepali people are slim or even skinny, even those who are athletic mountain climbers. Some of the tiniest people were the porters who carry heavy loads up and down the mountains. I had to look closely at the porters because otherwise I would have assumed they were young girls or boys not old enough to be doing such work.

I suspect the obesity epidemic in the U.S. and similar places is more complicated than just blaming it on poverty. To give an example, I have here a coupon for $1 off on a package of Fast Fixin'. It is a 1 1/2 bag of frozen breaded boneless processed chicken. I've found places where this chicken is sold for about $3.49 a bag. It's touted as having only white meat...I don't know what that has to do with anything. At any rate, I'm sure the chicken contains chemicals and is injected with water and/or soy oil. Then, the chicken must go through some kind of process to remove the bones and cartilage. The resulting jellylike material is mixed with fillers and processed so it's all homogeneous. Then, I'm sure salt is added. Then, we must address the breading. This probably consists of salt, sugar, cornmeal, stabilizers, and gluten, for starters. Then it is cooked and frozen. These nuggets can be microwaved and eaten right out of the bag. I shudder to think how much other stuff besides chicken a person would be eating if they popped 1 1/2 pounds of Fast Fixins in their mouth. And they would probably skip vegetables if they loaded up on that.

In contrast, groceries have a hard time even giving away whole chickens. A whole chicken costs less than $3.50 but who has the room to store it, the patience to cook and debone it, or the inclination to heat up their whole house with it?
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Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: As women get bigger, models get smaller
« Reply #72 on: June 23, 2012, 11:42:31 am »
I'm guessing, too, in Nepal they don't have stores on every street corner stocked with soft drinks and potato chips.  :-\

And are people even being taught anymore how to cook a whole chicken?

(I'm not sure about the dark-meat thing either, but I know that once my dad developed heart disease he was told not to eat the dark meat of chicken or turkey anymore. I guess it supposedly has more fat than white meat?)
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Offline serious crayons

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Re: As women get bigger, models get smaller
« Reply #73 on: June 23, 2012, 01:48:28 pm »
Poverty and obesity are two issues that I'm really interested in. The two don't always go hand in hand. When I visited Nepal, which is one of the poorest nations on earth, I never saw an obese person the whole time I was there (I saw a few overweight climbers, but they were from other richer countries). In fact, most Nepali people are slim or even skinny, even those who are athletic mountain climbers. Some of the tiniest people were the porters who carry heavy loads up and down the mountains. I had to look closely at the porters because otherwise I would have assumed they were young girls or boys not old enough to be doing such work.

I suspect the obesity epidemic in the U.S. and similar places is more complicated than just blaming it on poverty.

Gee, I hope I have made clear in my previous posts on this thread that in no way do I "just blame" the obesity epidemic on poverty. And yes, it's clearly much more complicated than that.

As I have tried to explain, there are all kinds of factors in modern American life that cause obesity -- scientists themselves are nowhere near sorting it all out. But logically, it would include everything from the easy availability of cheap junk food to the increasingly sedentary nature of American's lives, from the promotion of dirt-cheap high-fructose corn syrup, to the car culture and growth of suburbs that all but prohibit a car-free existence, to the increase in what we consider "ordinary" serving sizes after McDonald's realized it could make more money by supersizing things (when french fries were all one smallish size, people wouldn't buy two because that seemed piggy, but they wouldn't hesitate to buy bigger sizes), and on and on and on. There are probably dozens or hundreds of factors, affecting Americans at every socioeconomic level.

All I said was that people in poor neighborhoods are more effected by some -- not all! -- of those factors than are people from wealthier neighborhoods. So statistically speaking, poor people are heavier than rich people. That's in the U.S.

(And by the way, there are other breakdowns: suburban dwellers tend to be heavier than city dwellers. Again, that's a correlation, not a causation, and one can imagine a number of reasons for it. But one likely one is that city people can walk to things more easily, and suburbanites tend to drive everywhere. And yes, that somewhat negates what I said earlier, because on the other hand suburbanites often have nice walking/biking paths and city people may be afraid to walk in their neighborhoods. So, as I said, it's complicated!)

The reason that's not the case in Nepal is similar to the reason that it wasn't the case in the U.S. or anywhere else until the past half century or less. Because those factors -- especially the easy availability of cheap junk food and sedentary car-oriented lifestyles -- are not common in Nepal, nor most other poor countries. My point was that throughout all of human history, until the past 50 years in the U.S., the poor as a group tended to be thinner than the rich. Now the reverse is true. In this country. (I don't even think it's the case in Europe -- in my observation as a visitor, Europeans are thinner, more active and lighter eaters.)

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In contrast, groceries have a hard time even giving away whole chickens. A whole chicken costs less than $3.50 but who has the room to store it, the patience to cook and debone it, or the inclination to heat up their whole house with it?

My solution is to buy those chickens they roast in the store. For a couple of extra bucks, you get them already cooked. We eat the legs and wings and thighs the first night, and the second night I chop up the white meat for enchiladas or something.




I'm guessing, too, in Nepal they don't have stores on every street corner stocked with soft drinks and potato chips.  :-\

Let alone those Super Gulps or whatever they're called!

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And are people even being taught anymore how to cook a whole chicken?

To be honest, even though I arely go to the trouble myself, they're actually not that difficult. Rub them with a little oil, garlic, tarragon and lemon. Cut up some potatoes and toss them in the same thing. Arrange in a pan, add an inch or so of water, cook for a couple of hours, voila.

What I cook more often are boneless, skinless thighs and breasts. Even easier, though more expensive.

Other people like that thing where you stick a full can of beer up the chicken and then grill it, but I haven't tried that myself.

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(I'm not sure about the dark-meat thing either, but I know that once my dad developed heart disease he was told not to eat the dark meat of chicken or turkey anymore. I guess it supposedly has more fat than white meat?)

Dark meat indeed has more fat. But also more flavor. I prefer dark, but some people just don't like it, fat or not.


Offline Front-Ranger

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Re: As women get bigger, models get smaller
« Reply #74 on: June 23, 2012, 02:10:25 pm »
I was speaking about myself in that comment about blaming poverty for all the obesity. I have, or had a tendency to do that and oversimplify things. Sorry about the confusion.

About Nepal, there actually ARE big bottles of soda pop and chips easily available. In the north, almost every teahouse has rows and rows of Pringles on display as well as rows and rows of Coca Cola in the old fashioned classic bottles. But the native people don't buy them; they are for the tourists. Almost everyone all over Nepal eats the same food morning and night: a big plate of white rice with dal (lentil) soup spooned over it. Occasionally there will be some vegetable curry on the side. This is washed down with large amounts of tea, usually sweetened with some delightful cane sugar crystals and/or yak milk. The tea is served in large pots or thermoses. Most of the people in the rural areas eat breakfast at about 10:00 am and dinner around 8:00 pm...no lunch except for perhaps some tea.

In the large cities, you do see a few teenagers nowadays who are heavier and/or taller, and these are the ones you're more likely to see eating a cheeseburger or little chocolate bars.

Jeff, there aren't really "streetcorners" either. In Northern Nepal, there are no roads, only foot trails. Anything or anyone who goes there must go on foot, horse- or yak-back or by helicopter. In the cities there are main streets that are two lane, roads where only one car can pass at a time (and no sidewalks, so the many pedestrians have to walk in the street and dodge scooters, rickshaws, and cars), and on the corners and medians, trash tends to pile up.
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Marge_Innavera

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Re: As women get bigger, models get smaller
« Reply #75 on: June 23, 2012, 02:30:46 pm »

All I said was that people in poor neighborhoods are more effected by some -- not all! -- of those factors than are people from wealthier neighborhoods. So statistically speaking, poor people are heavier than rich people. That's in the U.S.

There's also the growing problem of "food deserts" -- neighborhoods when the only stores selling food are convenience stores.  Those neighborhoods are often rural areas, where you need some kind of wheels even to get to the store; the nearest store of any kind from our house is 8 miles away. 

When Michelle Obama talked about it last year, the Right exploded in verbal farts of ridicule; however, it's a reality.  Gas prices hit the rural poor especially hard.

Marge_Innavera

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Re: As women get bigger, models get smaller
« Reply #76 on: June 23, 2012, 02:33:27 pm »

In contrast, groceries have a hard time even giving away whole chickens. A whole chicken costs less than $3.50 but who has the room to store it, the patience to cook and debone it, or the inclination to heat up their whole house with it?

Now you've touched on two other factors: the decline of education and uncritical worship of convenience at all costs.

Cooking a whole chicken is just a few steps up from cooking oatmeal, even the edible (i.e., non-instant) variety.  No need to debone it or cut it up.  


Came back to add:

I'm not referring to a lack of education on the part of anyone here, but to the fact that a lot of people haven't been taught the basics of cooking anymore, even so far as roasting a chicken. 

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: As women get bigger, models get smaller
« Reply #77 on: June 23, 2012, 03:45:18 pm »
Came back to add:

I'm not referring to a lack of education on the part of anyone here, but to the fact that a lot of people haven't been taught the basics of cooking anymore, even so far as roasting a chicken. 

That was sort of my point. As Katharine has demonstrated in her post, it isn't that difficult, but, still, somebody has to teach you/you have to learn how to do that somewhere.

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Other people like that thing where you stick a full can of beer up the chicken and then grill it, but I haven't tried that myself.

Never heard of that. I hope you mean they open the can and pour the beer inside the chicken. ...

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About Nepal, there actually ARE big bottles of soda pop and chips easily available. In the north, almost every teahouse has rows and rows of Pringles on display as well as rows and rows of Coca Cola in the old fashioned classic bottles. But the native people don't buy them; they are for the tourists.

Talk about American cultural imperialism. Even if that stuff is for the tourists.
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Offline serious crayons

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Re: As women get bigger, models get smaller
« Reply #78 on: June 23, 2012, 04:01:13 pm »
Never heard of that. I hope you mean they open the can and pour the beer inside the chicken. ...

Nope, they open the can and use it as a base onto which they push the upright chicken. Then they grill it. The theory is that as the beer heats and boils, the steam flavors, bastes and tenderizes the chicken from within, while the outside gets browned. Kitchen supply shops even sell holders for the beer can. Like so:



It's sometimes referred to by the mouth-watering term, "beer butt chicken."




Offline Luvlylittlewing

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Re: As women get bigger, models get smaller
« Reply #79 on: June 23, 2012, 04:21:41 pm »
Nope, they open the can and use it as a base onto which they push the upright chicken. Then they grill it. The theory is that as the beer heats and boils, the steam flavors, bastes and tenderizes the chicken from within, while the outside gets browned. Kitchen supply shops even sell holders for the beer can. Like so:



It's sometimes referred to by the mouth-watering term, "beer butt chicken."





I've heard of it and always wanted to try it.  As others here have pointed out, it is easy to bake or broil a chicken; far easier, I think, than preparing steak or salmon.  I'm partial to fried chicken, myself.  Frying a chicken is about as easy as baking one, but there is an art to preparing a tasty seasoning/flour mixture.  I know that frying is a lot less healthy than baking/broiling, even though I lost 110 pounds in the 80s eating as much fried chicken as I wanted.  I don't know how true this is, but I've read that Harlan Saunders (sp?) ate fried chicken every day of his life and lived to be 90.