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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

nooka Tue 16-Apr-13 06:50:48

My ds would crash by that time even if he'd eaten a good lunch full of low GI goodness. He was just very active and had a fast metabolism. Although I agree at school sitting down and eating lunch wasn't his top priority.

I always had toast and jam or peanut butter, apples and digestive biscuits (not many treats in our house growing up) when I came home from school in the 70s/80s. Plus as a teen I had a roll with honey at break time. And I bought chocolate from the sweetshop if I could scrounge enough money!

Wishihadabs Mon 15-Apr-13 21:34:09

Well I have limited control over how much lunch he eats. I just don't think this is a new thing.

ivykaty44 Mon 15-Apr-13 20:37:20

thats cos his lunch has let him crash, so by 330-4 he is really low and instead of looking at feeding him t this point look at the food and amount he had at lunch, if you want to dont mean that in bossy way.

Theproblem at school is the children want to eat their lunch quickly otherwise they miss out on play time - sop perhaps dont eat enough at this time.

Wishihadabs Mon 15-Apr-13 19:03:12

Just watched the men who made us fat. I have been thinking about this thread, the program seemed to suggest that children eating treats after school was an ad man's invention. Do you think this is true ? As a child in the 80's we always had something when we came in from school like crumpets, tea cakes or sometimes just toast and jam. I don't think this is a new thing. Ds is horrible if he doesn't have something quick release e.g.; sugar and starch between 330 and 4pm.

FurryDogMother Sun 14-Apr-13 10:37:48

Yep Scruffalo it was The Men Who Made Us Fat - all 3 episodes are available on YouTube, and I found them very interesting.

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Sun 14-Apr-13 09:07:17

Perhaps it's not kids snacking that's the change since the 1970's, but people continuing to snack as adults- i.e. instead of stopping snacking, they carried on. Now, here's a suggestion. Put obesity rates and smoking rates on a graph, and I imagine there would be a statistically significant correlation. I think in the 1970's around 50% of British adults smoked. That's now 10%. Obesity rates have gone the other way.

One public health crisis for another. The grim reaper is a creative dude grin

nooka Sat 13-Apr-13 18:55:48

When my children were little snacks were essential especially after exercise so I would have been that mum giving a their dc food in the changing room, and on pick up from school. If I hadn't then ds in particular would have totally flaked out. When I was growing up if I didn't have a fairly steady food intake I had a tendency to faint, and we know not eating enough is a trigger for dd's migraines now.

I don't see food as the enemy, but I come from a tall thin active family. Re eating habits my school in the 80s served chips every day and most of my friends visited the newsagent for snacks every morning and afternoon.

HandMini Sat 13-Apr-13 18:37:46

I will stick my head above the parapet and say that we snack and I like it that way.

I'm at home with two toddlers and I like the rhythm it gives our day. Breakfast is at 0730, lunch at midday and tea at 1730. We sit down at a little table and chairs at about 10 and about 3 and share a plate of sliced fruit/cheddars/rarely something sweet. I have a massive mug of tea, they have water in sippys.

It's sociable and it reminds them to drink some water.

I don't allow snacking in buggy, but we would frequently walk to park and have our morning or afternoon snack in the park on a bench.

As long as you "allow" for the snack calories, I think it's nice.

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

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.

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

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?

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.

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.

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"

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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.

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