Advanced search

To think that people were thinner

(246 Posts)
Elfina Sun 09-Feb-14 14:06:55

In the past in the UK, up until about the 80s because food was less 'interesting'; less variety, seasoning etc so because it didn't taste that amazing you'd just eat your full and no more?

Elfina Sun 09-Feb-14 14:07:45

And because meat 'n' two veg is about as unprocessed as you can get?

MothratheMighty Sun 09-Feb-14 14:09:09

No, we were thinner back then because we walked more and never sat on our arses staring at a screen other than a TV.
Or is that just me?

capsium Sun 09-Feb-14 14:09:35

Yes. I remember food being truly awful and worrying when I was a child, if we ate out, whether it would be at all edible.

Timetoask Sun 09-Feb-14 14:09:51

I am not from the UK but I don't think variety is to be attributed to so many overweight people, I think it's fast ready made food and so many coffee shops.

Joules68 Sun 09-Feb-14 14:11:46

fast food wasn't so common back then either

and as humans we eat for pleasure rather than to feel full and for nutrition

and again,snacking has become more common place.....people cant sit in the cinema for 2 hours these days without a ful on nachos! snacks are even in schools now,they are commonplace

Elfina Sun 09-Feb-14 14:12:04

Timeout, but that IS variety?? I mean, being able to have a range of crappy ready meals, take aways and cakes is choice, in a way that we didn't have in ye olden days?

lifesgreatquestions Sun 09-Feb-14 14:14:04

Posture, and the cut of clothes, people partly "looked" thinner because they were dressed and sitting/standing up properly!

Salmotrutta Sun 09-Feb-14 14:14:21

People used to work harder physically decades ago.

Fewer labour-saving devices.

In addition, fewer people had cars, even in the early 70s, so lots more walking everywhere.

TV didn't run all day and no computers at home so far less sitting on your behind.

phantomnamechanger Sun 09-Feb-14 14:15:02

I think there are 3 main contributors to this issue

1. we walk less & kids play out less
2. we have "treats" like cakes, chocolate bars, convenience meals and take aways too often because thy have become cheaper/more accessible
3. people are clueless/uninformed/in denial about the calories in soft drinks and alcohol and consume too much too often.

don't get me started on toddlers with cola in their bottles!

Pipbin Sun 09-Feb-14 14:15:50

It is the snacking and lack of walking.

There was a thread the other day where the OP was wondering if she should buy a house that was a whole 1 mile walk to the station! I wouldn't bother travelling a mile by any other means!
Also snacks, especially adult snacks. When I was a kid crisps were for children, adults may be ate a pack of pork scratchings or Big D peanuts in the pub but that was it. I'm not a parents but I am a teacher and I am always surprised that nearly all children are given some kind of chocolate bar when they are collected from school.

That said I snack all the time now, I am guilty.

WitchWay Sun 09-Feb-14 14:17:30

The concept of "snacking" didn't exist when I was a child. Now everyone expects two or three extra meals snacks a day & feeling hungry while waiting for the next main meal seems to fill some people with dismay.

BabyMummy29 Sun 09-Feb-14 14:21:40

I remember not being allowed biscuits or sweets unless my mother said so. Also we were always out and about, playing with friends rather than sitting indoors glued to computer screens

morchoxplz Sun 09-Feb-14 14:22:08

We watched a carry on film last night recorded at Xmas. (Saturday night Telly was so dire). We commented that every character except Hattie Jaques (who was no doubt chosen for her matronly figure) was sooo slim. All the actors make.and female had slim body shapes. In any old film footage from before the 80a this is very noticable

Chottie Sun 09-Feb-14 14:22:57

Lots of everyday food was considered 'party food' when I was young. I am talking about crisps, chocolate biscuits and fizzy drinks.

Restaurants and tea rooms used to close between meal times.

There was no culture of eating between meals and in the street. I can remember having to go to sit in the park to eat an ice cream.

Mandy2003 Sun 09-Feb-14 14:27:56

I do agree with the OP. The first thing I can remember being introduced to make food more interesting was Hellmans mayo. As a child I remember eating it by the jar. Then came cook in sauces, then many other ways of adding hidden fats and sugars to food. Then came fully processed ready meals...

I remember pictures taken during the drought of 1976 of teenagers sunbathing at dried up reservoirs and looking like famine victims.

I started work in 1980 and was called "the blimp" behind my back. I found a pic from back then and in it I look like a healthy size 10!

WitchWay Sun 09-Feb-14 14:29:07

Yes, we weren't allowed to eat on the street either!

I watched The Full Monty the other week - the "fat bloke" Dave in it looks barely chubby by today's standards. The film was released in 1997.

ithaka Sun 09-Feb-14 14:31:15

People didn't own a car each - at the most there would be one family car, so people walked a lot more & used public transport.

There was no daytime TV or computers so people were more active.

It is our sedentary lifestyle that is killing us.

MothratheMighty Sun 09-Feb-14 14:32:24

'n a way that we didn't have in ye olden days?'


Viviennemary Sun 09-Feb-14 14:34:54

I agree doing less excercise these days is a major cause of people being overweight. But the availability of take aways, fast food deliveries and so on has made things a lot worse.

knickernicker Sun 09-Feb-14 14:36:47

Nowadays we're getting conflicting images of models as tall and,skinny as boys whilst ordinary women who are overweight are told to live their curves. Previously there was less of q distance between the ideal and the reality and rather thaovong their curves women would eat a little less to remain slim.

AuntieStella Sun 09-Feb-14 14:37:15

I've been watching the 1970s TOTPs. I think that what we see as 'normal' now would have been plump/fat then.

In the 60/70s, we were brought up by parents who had lived through rationing and whose food habits were shaped by it. I think that made a huge difference.

knickernicker Sun 09-Feb-14 14:37:24

Apologies for typos.

hellokittymania Sun 09-Feb-14 14:39:43

There is plenty of variety here in Vietnam, but it is healthy food and fresh. In Hue, there are only 2 KFCs and a Lotteria, all of which charge 5 times higher than local food. I had to explain on here yesterday that fast food in Vietnam is not cheap and convenient like in the UK. A huge plate of vegetarian food plus a soup is 17,000 compared to 60,000 vnd for a combo at KFC. Locals earn 2~3 million per month here on average so can't afford fast food.

Kids have plenty of outdoor play and many walk or ride bikes to school.

When I went to the UK I was surprised by how much junk food was in M and S and other places...

NearTheWindmill Sun 09-Feb-14 14:42:57

Well, I'm not sure I agree. My grandma was quite rotund but never looked flabby due to her long line girdles and bras. She was definitely a good size 16/18 at 5 foot. My grandad had a chubby tummy too. Lots of my mum's friends were a good size 14 (she wasn't) along with many of my friends' mums. I was unusually skinny as a child at school. Many of the pin-ups from the 50s weren't painfully thin like models today either: Diana Dors, Marilyn Monroe and I'm sure there are others.

I'm 53 and I would also say that as a child whilst there wasn't so much fast food (although my mum would often take me to the Wimpy for a treat or the ice-cream parlour for a knicker bocker glory) there was still delicious food in the form of meat pies, fruit pies, raised game pies, butter, double cream, real custards, rice puddings and we were eating spag bol and ravioli in the 60s. I can recall my mum making chicken kiev when it wasn't available ready made. She did it for a dinner party once for 8 people. She had to buy 4 chickens to get 8 breasts. We lived on flippin chicken for about week. Also remember hearty stews and dumplings and rice etc.

We did walk more; I certainly did but my older teenagers walk a lot now and so does DH. I do a bit but not as much as I should.

I think a lot of it comes down to pricing to be perfectly honest. Food when I was a child was expensive compared to the rest of the household outgoings - far more than today.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: