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Do we have weird eating habits on this country?

(58 Posts)
orangeandlemons Mon 08-Apr-13 17:40:21

Have just returned from a hotel stay. Guy next to us had 2 plates of cooked breakfast. One for himself, and then one we assumed for someone else. However, he ate the first one, then the second, and then went for toast and cereal. I would have been sick. I think this attitude is really pre leant where people have paid for a breakfast, and are determined to eat every bit of it.

Then whilst travelling, all service stations are rammed full to bursting of people buying shed loads of huge bags of sweets. Everyone who passes in a car seems to be scoffing something.

Finally the cinema, how do people afford and eat all that shit? Burgers, dogs, fries, skins, nachos and they just sit there shovelling it in.

Now I am no skinny Minny at all, and am as fond of crap and goodies as the next person, but the nation seems to have turned into some kind of eating machine

mybelovedmonster Sat 13-Apr-13 11:12:39

I think snacking is evil. We never smacked as children (70s and early 80s) and I'm always baffled when friends are constantly offering snacks to their preschoolers. The odd pack of raisins is one thing, but no 3yo needs a handful of babybels, a pack of quavers, endless biscuits etc.

I hate buffet greed as well. Just because its all you can eat, doesnt mean you need to go up 4 times and fill your plate. Its just fucking greedy.

I think lots of us have forgotten how to eat what we need, and feel compelled to eat piles of food just because its there.

mybelovedmonster Sat 13-Apr-13 11:13:35

Argh, snacked, obviously. Damn phone.

BettyandDon Sat 13-Apr-13 11:17:06

Well I grew up in the 70s. I used to walk to school with a friend (which I wasn't allowed to do) purely to buy sweets and crisps at the shops on the way. We would scoff them at play times aswell as selling them smile.

I had fabulous snacks when I got home too. My mother started this as I didn't like school when I was 5, but somehow I got the treats till I was 16.

I don't think it's changed that much. Isn't eating 5/6 times not better than 3 large meals?

BettyandDon Sat 13-Apr-13 11:19:01

I think I was 8 when I started the snack attack business, so not a teenager.

BreasticlesNTesticles Sat 13-Apr-13 11:20:08

Well I was at secondary school in the 90's and I remember kids buying shed loads of crisps and chocolate, we had an ice cream van that used to come in and sit on the school field!

We had a tuck shop at secondary but not at primary I don't think, I didn't go if we did, but I used to buy 10p packets of crisps when I was older. I think schools are definitely more switched on to healthy eating now than when I was at school which has to be a good thing.

I also don't think snacking is bad if you are hungry. Snacking because you are bored or out of habit isn't good.

mybelovedmonster Sat 13-Apr-13 11:20:41

I don't think it is better (not for me anyway). Its just more opportunity to shovel more calories down your neck - its much easier to stick to a sensible amount of food if you just eat 3 normal meals.

BreasticlesNTesticles Sat 13-Apr-13 11:22:44

Acually that's reminded me of a boy that used to take my mums sweets off her when she walked home from school and she's 70 so obv not a new thing grin

theodorakisses Sat 13-Apr-13 11:26:47

If shared memories and experiences are smug, so be it. I would never log into MN expecting a smug moratorium, it would be like asking our price not to sell music or greigs not to sell anything beige.

Trills Sat 13-Apr-13 11:31:15

Sharing memories isn't smug. The disingenuous use of the word "we" (that doesn't actually include the person speaking) is smug.

LifeofPo Sat 13-Apr-13 11:31:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FunnyLittleFrog Sat 13-Apr-13 11:33:49

FurryDogMother - was going to post the same. I agree with your theory about the sugar.

If I start the day unhealthily (e.g. a typical weekend breakfast like a croissant with jam) I end up snacking all day - just can't seem to stop eating. On a normal work day however I'll have a protein based breakfast without carbs and I just seem to be able to fire on for hours without much more.

In the 80s people just didn't snack like now. At the cinema you'd maybe have a small bag of sweets. No snack at break at school -just wasn't heard of. No multi-packs or special offers.

GwendolineMaryLacey Sat 13-Apr-13 11:34:48

I think I was quite clear in including myself in the weird eating habits brigade. I've yet again sent the girls off with DH to the park with nappies, wipes etc and a bag of snacks. They'll be back in time for lunch.

Trills Sat 13-Apr-13 11:37:45

No snack break at school in the 80s? In my primary school in the 80s there was a break in the morning and any child who did not have a bag of crisps for that break would have been thought unusual.

Scruffalo Sat 13-Apr-13 11:44:44

FurryDogMother was the documentary called The Men Who Made Us Fat? I watched it on tv last year, and as a biochemist, agreed with a lot of its findings. A diet that includes a large proportion of simple and refined sugars (especially fructose IIRC) has confused our body's normal hunger signals. It causes low blood sugar levels between meals, which leads to snacking, often on more high sugar foods. However, while they relieve the problem in the short term, they will again cause a dip in sugar levels a few hours later and more snacking. Over the course of a day it leads to a far higher total calorie intake.

I would definitely recommend it to others to watch as it is an eye-opener. I think it also covered other 'tricks of the industry' e.g. sugary drinks (I like to call these liquid food) and 'diet' foods' that have had fat removed and lots of sugar added. All of it designed to make us eat and more importantly buy more of their products.

theodorakisses Sat 13-Apr-13 11:47:16

scruff, also "Fork over knife", that was amazing.

FunnyLittleFrog Sat 13-Apr-13 11:49:10

Maybe it was just my school. School dinners / packed lunch at dinner time and that was it. Apart from when we had cake sales and once someone made popcorn for charity which was excitement indeed!

At secondary there was a tuck shop. 5p Pickled Onion Meanies, 5p Highland Toffee and 5p blue ice pops! Still, they were small (tiny) portions and nowhere near the huge amounts kids seem to eat now when a whole tube of Pringles doesn't seem to be unusual.

Gerrof Sat 13-Apr-13 11:54:08

There was a tuck shop in my junior school, kids could choose from frazzled, space invaders, transformers as, tangy toms, Jaffa cakes and Maryland cookies. Can you imagine that today!

In senior school the tuck shop progressed to pot noodles and cup a soups, as well as a full array of sweets and chocolates.

If I didn't spend my pound dinner money on getting a taxi to school because I couldn't be arsed to walk up the hill I lunched for 5 years on pot noodles, chips or, memorably, I went through a phase of buying 5 packets of space invaders, some sesame snaps and a doughnut for my lunch.

I grew up with terrible eating habits, inherited from a gran who cooked inedible austerity food and then went on a mad trolley dash of goodies which would be devoured in days. She was a product of rationing I think.

So I blame the war.

Gerrof Sat 13-Apr-13 11:55:34

Highland toffee and wham bars, I am amazed I still have teeth in my head. The highland toffee had a texture of nearly set Tarmac on a road.

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Sat 13-Apr-13 12:18:40

I think we have quite fucked up compared to many other nations- mainly in terms of snacking constantly and not sitting down to eat proper meals. I live in Asia and eating lunch at your desk really doesn't happen. People will get take out, but they'll go and sit in the kitchen area or outside and eat. They also never snack- they have piles of chocolates and sweets from clients that just sit there- no-one ever eats them. In a UK office they'd be gone by home time.

I do also think that the fact that food got nicer is to blame. When dinner was basically meat, boiled potatoes and carrots, the temptation to overeat was pretty limited. I remember spending most childhood meals begging to "get down"

ivykaty44 Sat 13-Apr-13 16:24:47


If your mum is 70 then sweets would have been rationed most of her childhood due to the war - I take it she was born in 1943, so the other boy was probably just as excited about sweets as they were so rare back then and they really were a new thing for a lot of children who hadn't ever lived without rationing of sweets.

sittinginthesun Sat 13-Apr-13 16:42:42

I agree OP. I'm always amazed by the number of people eating as they walk down the street, or those who start a packet of biscuits in the supermarket.

I don't remember snacking at primary school, but we certainly did at secondary (I was born in 1971). Tuck shop with amazing cakes with artificial cream, and sugar toast at home! But we also ate a huge amount of fruit. I was always told it was cheaper than biscuits, so we had to fill up on apples before we were allowed near the biscuit tin.

Trills Sat 13-Apr-13 18:01:30

Robert Crampton wrote a wonderful article in The Times (now behind the paywall) about how food had just got so much nicer since his childhood in the 70s.

Greek yoghurt, peshwari naans, muesli, deep-fried Camambert with jam, dauphinoise potatoes.

It ends with

I suppose my point is that, growing up, I thought, say, shepherd’s pie was the best food ever. And then gradually these other temptations – even tastier, and much more calorific – arrived or became affordable. So, all told, when I read about the current plague of obesity, I don’t think: why are so many people so enormously fat? Rather, I think: shouldn’t the majority of us who aren’t enormously fat be heartily congratulated on our phenomenal self-control?

worsestershiresauce Sat 13-Apr-13 18:06:41

I think it starts in childhood. I rarely see a mum without a bag of snacks for their child. Children can actually leave the house for a few hours without a food supply...

However, I'm sure MN mums only carry organic rice cakes wink

Wishihadabs Sat 13-Apr-13 18:16:31

Yes, completely weird. Our family eat at 4 times during the week and twice at the weekend. Breakfast at 7:30 lunch at 12:30, snack at 4pm and dinner at 7:30. At the weekend brunch at 10-11 am and dinner at 7:30 (sometimes with a snack at 4). Eating outside these times is strange to us.

TSSDNCOP Sat 13-Apr-13 18:21:16

I grew up in the 70's and 80's.

We would have had biscuits and squash in the house, but no chocolate, crisps etc that it seems routine to buy in the supermarket.

There were certainly no snacks at Primary school. Occasionally there would be a tuck shop and it would be talked about for days in advance.

Occasionally bought sweets after school, but agin that would be 1p sweets like black jacks and fruit salad rather than crisps and chocolate.

We simply didn't have the money in the 70's I think.

There was more in the 80's, but I think travel especially to the US increased and so our tastes became more exotic.

Shall we blame Mrs Thatcher, she seems to have copped it for every other ill of the 80's this week grin

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