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The Huge Difference Between Food in the 1950’s and Today

WOW... this is scary!
Dan Serban Taras's profile photoMuna Bushra's profile photoTalia Ledesma's profile photoKyle R.'s profile photo
The food servings are bigger but it's greatly overstated by this graphic, which shows the food by an increase in height, not in volume.
Can I see an info graphic on obesity rate for the same time period.
Bit of an exaggeration. A McDonald's hamburger is only 3.5 oz, and even a Big Mac is 7.6 oz. This graphic is comparing the smallest meal from the 50s with the largest meal from today.
I Love the change! It's peoples fault that they are fat. I gota have my triple baconator!
Why are both families running? Are they running to McD's? I don't think so, they should have taken the car.
hmmm... sounds pretty accurate...the 42oz soda can only be shown in extream takes a while to drink one of those...
Damir T
times change - some 4 the better and some 4 worse
I guess the price difference is even more than this!!
Not only did they super size the portions on the drawing, they super sized the humans as well!
yah, mediums of today were the large of yesterday.
Exactly...but its not just americans...I guess its the same with the whole human race!!
I've never ordered a 42 oz drink at a fast food restaurant. This just assumes you buy the biggest one which is pretty misleading. Still probably bigger than the 50's though.
What is this comparing? Sizes then to the largest size now? How about a comparison of average size meal then and the average size meal now? That'd be more interesting to see.
Well its what happens when the healthy food are expensive and the fast food are cheap.... But also its the humans that decide what to eat
So true!!...that's why everyone prefers fast food...but humans decide 2 have fast food more!!!
Healthy food is not expansive,people are just lazy.
All 9 menu items from the original restaurant in Des Plaines, Illinois:

French Fries - 10 cents
Hamburgers - 15 cents
Cheeseburgers - 19 cents
Milkshakes (chocolate, vanilla, strawberry) - 20 cents
Coffee - 10 cents-
Milk - 10 cents
Orange Ade - 10 cents
Root Beer - 10 cents
Coca-Cola - 10 cents

I'm paying more so I expect more!!!!
It's BS, lazy and convenient outweighs (sorry for the pun) finding healthier options. I can cite dozens of meals that are massively healthier I make myself at home, including over-priced Whole Food stuff. We are just lazy and addicted to food that contains sugar/gluten and other tasty biochemicals
Crap, now I have a McDonald's craving.
I challenge anyone who reads this post to not EAT anything at a fast food for a month.
If it looks good eat it! If it adds pounds, excercise, lazy folks! Human body should be indulged into all sorts of experience; who the f can tell anyone eat this Or that? It's a lil excercise daily, why is this issue so hard to digest for those who read a lot about healthy eating. No!!! Stop!!! Eat what u like. 
always remember, the objective of the food industry is to maximize profits using any means, including questionable morals if they can make more money than the inevitable class action lawsuit costs, not provide people with healthy food...if you think it sounds crazy or cynical look at the chart above again!!
who eats/makes a 3/4lb? I bet the McD's burger is still 3.9oz area.
Plus 42oz is just nuts, and most people only get in the 20oz range.
that soda is 6x larger yet it's 100x're blowing the images out of scale
@Jeff Curtis I accept your challenge. Now until June 23, no fast food.
That picture is a little misleading. It shows the family on the right walking. For accuracy sake, shouldn't they be in mobility scooters?
I try to skip fast food, but if I must, I'll usually try to find a grilled chicken sandwich and a bottled water. I also make it a point to avoid soft drinks (it's just flavored, carbonated high fructose corn syrup), and fries (which are basically oil-drenched potatoes...oil sponges).
I already dont eat fast food, its terible
not only fast food, that's just an easy target of media. average meals at home and lack of good nutritional science is just as bad.
It's ok to eat fast food. Just don't eat there every day and when you do, eat in moderation.
+B Gallagher I don't see what carrot sticks has to do with anything. Eat in moderation. Don't get the huge fries, and huge soda, and huge burger just because it's part of a "meal". Most of the time you can save a ton of money and calories by just getting small stuff. Instead of a huge Whooper meal, just get two hamburgers and some water. That's plenty of food to hold you off for a few hours.
It's all about perceived value for money isn't it?
Was the 50s soda 75% ice like it is today?
I'm trying to see a negative here...
Zak Oz
Marty McFly already told me this YEARS AGO...
Omg 100% true but what is 42z?
Ok so what's expensive a 6.99 per pound grapes or 6 mcchickens for 6.99 lol... Does that answer the truth on healthy food is expensive... What you make at home is called left overs and turn it into healthy food .... Not an argument but just saying
Given this state of affairs, how come we are living longer these days? Maybe the food is not al that bad after all. Unless one gets really fat and end up suffering from diabetes and all those horrible diseases.
choo sc
Now day people drink so much soda drink ... wow ! I think no good for health.
The study says we eat 4 times more food, but the graphic draws all the food as 128 times bigger (volume). It should only be 50% taller to be 4 times heavier, which is why eating a lot more can be deceptive. If it really was as obvious as in the graphic for fewer people would do it. Also this is about what we eat in general (not just fastfood).
I would also wager that oz for oz, today's food is even worse for you then in 50s
How gross...No wonder why obesity is such an epidemic today!!!!
Studies are shinanigans statistics are shinanigans because every race is different
Here in Switzerland there is no such thing as cheap food or cheap labour so fast food joints are very rare, not even one KFC in the whole country. The supermarkets don't sell many convenience foods so we have to buy basics and COOK. Fat people are very rare here lol.
Cool post, but I do think the infographic exaggerates a bit. I can't remember the last time I got a 30 oz. soda.
thats the truth but it is funny at the same time
+Claudio Luís Vera Hit up any fast food restaurant and order a large soda. Usually a 32 oz cup size. You are usually looking at 818 - 820 grams which equals around 28 - 29oz of liquid.
What's really changed is the increase in carbs in our diet along with the low fat/grains mantra. If we'd simply reduce refined carbs and stop believing the low fat/calorie myth... we'd all be better off.
True. Sadly people are getting fater when the food is bigger but that can change somehow. Hopefully. 
Totally true! Never watch Food, Inc.
for the prices they charge now we should echnically get 90oz drinks 120 oz burgers and a whole basket of fries........remember those? the large baskets of fries they used to sell at places instead of these drinkbox sized fry orders
That's why everyone is fat and I'm not!
hahaha thats so funney but true thats why they are fat
I dunno when i was a Kid in the 70's McDonalds BIGGEST Size Drink was the now Medium Size Drink. Now weve got 32oz/42oz/64oz?!?!

They had 2-Sizes of Fries Small (the kind that comes in a Happy Meal now) & Lg (which is now the Medium Size!)

Burger Portions AKA the Big Mac seems to be the same now as say it was in 1977?!?!

Sure we can blame Fast Food for our Obesity......but really it comes down to supply & demand and most importantly our own Personal Choices. If People werent buying it Fast Food wouldnt be selling it, they'd sell something else/smaller sizes etc. No one is holding a gun to our Heads FORCING us to Eat Fast Food and to Super Size it, those are our own Personal Choices.

All things are ok in MODERATION. Eat Healthy and Work-Out all Week. On the Weekend if you want, go ahead and Splurge. But whatever YOU Choose to do it is just that a CHOICE!!!! Own up to it and quite blaming everyone else.

I am 39yrs old and i am obese......guess whos Fault that is.......MINE!!! Not McDonalds, Not In-N-Out, Not Red Robin etc, but MINE and MINE ALONE. Because of those poor Choices IVE made, im now at a point do i continue and DIE Young OR do i start making Long-Term Life Changing Choices???? Ive choosen the later, ive lost 62 Pounds so far. Ive got a long way to go, its not easy but it IS Worth it. Doesnt mean ill never eat/enjoy Fast Food again, just now it will be in Moderation.

Again its all about Choices & Self-Accountability. AMEN!!!!!
it's not in Hong Kong, everything you found on the table in a restaurant is diminishing
Market dynamics...if you want to change things, change how you spend your $$$'s. It's the only language the big corporations understand and respond to.
+Jeff Curtis, I only eat fast food once every 2 months, and cook fresh food at home every night! 
A McDonald's hamburger is only 3.5 oz, and even a Big Mac is 7.6 oz
I'm done with red meat for a while... Cancer, Pink slime...too much!
The USA is not only obese, but in poor condition. Exercise! Tell your obese friends that ;)
Yeah but it's a diet Coke;-) lol. I've been keeping a mental ratio of obese people to healthy people as I go through my days. Scary stuff. Sounds mean but it really brings the issue into your awareness.
Read the omnivores dilemma... Eat as whole, fresh, local and organic as you can afford to... Bon Appetit
OMG thats going 2 b me hahaha
No doubt we're eating larger portions, but larger portions of highly processed crap! I'm eating just as much now but I'm loosing weight. Why? I no longer eat fast food! My wife cooks from scratch, my sandwich bread is whole grain from a local bakery, and there is no soda in the house... just like in 40's
we should b friendz,i like ta eat good,but we wouldnt have much in common would we?(cris)
Jerome, you are dead on correct! I've dropped nearly 60 lbs and it was from cutting carbs, cooking at home and NO fast food -- ever!!
The article suggests that if you are fat, you should blame the restaurant. How about the person taking responsibility for their own actions instead of blaming someone else?
what is o.z.? Use internationally accepted metric system dummies!
I can't cook, so I eat out a lot. I'm aware that there's a lot of food out there that's high in calories, so I'm just mindful of my choices. There are sites out there that have databases full of nutritional information for the food made available to you, so it's not hard to do. Between that and exercise, I maintain about 15% body fat. All you have to do is take a moment to become informed.
Liz Lia
Obese people - " You have an eating problem, you're so skinny"

Skinny people - " No, the problem is you don't know how to stop eating."

Portion control! They need to super size down!
At first, i thought that the line between the sodas was 500 feet long.
kinda like the distance from hip to hip on the average american.
When you zoom out like i did, the word soda looks like the numbers 500.
A simple definition for: America.
Realy legnaw, your going to call them dummies. Bro look at your phone apps. Go to tools, scroll down to converter. use that app., look at that. It changed the ounces to the grams, or milli grams if you like. Don't call people names because they don't think like you. They have a differant way of doing things which makes them valuable to us all. Diversity is a great thing we all can learn from. Legnaw, your not a dummie eather. A little abrasive but your not dumb.
That is so true what will it be in another 50 years?
Mmmm that meal looks good right about now. I havent ate all day! :)
That's only a problem if you're in that family.
SE ME HACE Demasiado exagerado de Si heno jumbos aliemnto
Pero no a la ASI COMO SE Muestra en la Imagen!
No se me hac exagerado es la realidad, pare a observar el otro dia y contamos cuantas personas vimos pasar que tuvieran mas o menos de 10 kilos y mas, en media hora fueron 150 niños y adultos. La comida nos esta matando.
Just goes to show that it's not necessarily the food, but the soda. I stopped drinking soda and switched to water/tea, and lost 25lbs in a month. A single large Coke has something like 500 calories on average, and people get 2 or 3 refills.
it goes from skinny to fat! harsh, but true.
ew now i understand why my parents never take me out for fast food:p
I am sorry but I have to call bs on a lot of this. Sure the size has a lot to do with it but hamburgers were actually bigger back int he 50s and 60s not smaller. They have actually gotten smaller since the 80's. It is not so much the quantity but the quality of food, Back then it was fries from actual potatoes, and now all our food is being processed and fillers added. Cheaper ingredients have been added that hurt our bodies and make us addicted to them. It is so easy to think of it this way but it really is not accurate,
Who the hell eats a 12 oz burger? That's a triple quarter pounder. It doesn't even exist on McDonalds menu!
Great, the Overweight of America now have yet another thing to blame their obesity other than sheer gluttony! (ps. I'm overweight because I eat too much and don't exercise enough- there, I admitted it!)
the difference is back then. its was real meat!
they should just have this graph posted when you look up the definition of obesity
@legnaw Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is an American organization. In America, they measure food in ounces...
It's so sad to think that that is quite realistic... :(
The quality of the ingredients has declined too. Pink slime was illegal back in the days and they used sugar not HFCS. If you're stupid enough to eat garbage you deserve everything you get.
It's not just the fast food places either. No wonder most Americns are fat.
yeah it is not good but we have to deal with the facts
I agree with the more intelligent people who posted things such as; "back then it was real meat" and "now it's all additives". Along with the person who mentioned back then how people actually worked "manual labor". Now you spend more energy driving to/from work than you do at work. Desk jockeys and McJobs is not "work". What it is, is like being in a relationship with the totally wrong person and you know it, yet you stay there just to kill time. Get out there and do something. Keep telling yourself walking and running helps. Cut the BS and do something like plant a garden. Get excersize by tilling and digging holes, get rewarded with fresh food. Not good with plants? Chop firewood. Don't tell me about how you "work out", tell me how you get a work out from something at work (construction, driving without power steering, automotive assembly. Something. In a lot of jails they took weights away, so inmates started using their own body weight. Stop assisting yourself with excuses. Eat what you want but look at what's in it. Don't tell me about diet soda, that is worse than regular soda. Spend the time and cook yourself and actually get physically active. 
Omg! our food portions have gotten huge!
It's all our own fault. It's the desire to have bigger and better all the time.
i am the little kid
So true. I'm so disapointed in America!
The large soda at McDonalds in Japan was 16oz.
america(no offense) probally has the fattest people in the world(im not saying that everyone is fat, just do less fast food! when i was in taiwan, i lost 10lbs)
I believe the family on the right should be in a car going through a drive thru, no?
K Eng
lol XD
im not obese. probably because im picky about wut i eat. check out my freedom is not free post i hope it will help you. 
Some people just don't know how to limit themselves -_-
Jay K.
Lol... with addictive ingredients
B Gallagher do you know or understand what pink slime is??
Be a bit careful though: at first glance one might perceive the relative size (area) of the two meals. However, this would be misleading because the volume the foods changed in real life is represented by the height of the meals on the chart, not the area of the meals on the chart. If the areas of the two meals on the chart were to scale, then the "Now" meal would appear much smaller.
This is to Phillip Culley and Jay K. The problem with being able to limit is the addiction to fast food. The addiction is the amount of sugar that's in the fast food we eat!
my first comment: "there is a HUGE fucking price difference though . . ."
That's actually really concerning to me. Like really! Imagine all the wasted food today compared to then!
J Eddy
I don't see myself being full from a 3.9 oz hamburger, even in the 1950s. Another typically exaggerated statistic without demonstrable evidence to its validity. 
This, I believe, is part of the obesity problem.
this i believe the part of to much junk food more frits
This article says "Blame our obesity problem on the restaurants!" What a load of crap. Everyone always blame's someone else. It's never "my" fault. Blame your obesity problem on yourself.
Blaming one factor for the obesity issue in the USA is entirely absurd. If the decision is based on a single graphic the decision is probably lacking in all ways.
Well it also cost less, wasn't nearly as processed and "enhanced" back then.
That's all wrong.
Fast food doesn't function to Fat Geople.
There was a lot of obese Geople in the 50's.
Where is the survey from?
Well, it makes sense, on the 1950's The U.S. held the rank for tallest people, and now we hold rank with the Fattest, GOOOO MCDONALD'S ! YAAAAAAAYYYYY
TL;DR: Good point, poor representation.

I hate pictures like this that appear at first glance to represent data in two dimensions, but really only represent it in one. The burger, for example, appears 9 times as large on the right, when in reality it's only 3 times as large.

It's a slightly misleading way of representing information (especially to people who don't read axes), and it just makes me ignore the point of the picture (like you discount the truth of a story that's clearly been exaggerated).
I am betting the taste was a lot bigger back in the 50's.
But what was the average life expectancy in the 50s versus today?
The problem with obesity today is both a social and economic 'disease'. Living in today's fast-paced society, we are set up with time constraints due to the constant pressure to produce. Fast food and drive-thru's would make sense to somebody on the go that isn't necessarily a health-conscious person to begin with. Now, for households with two working class parents, or a single parent trying to make ends meet, this expedient choice would make sense if there is a family at home waiting to be fed, or maybe these individuals are just too tired to consistently cook a healthy allbeit expensive meal without breaking the bank. Notice how these scenarios almost seamlessly tie into each other... Anyway, regardless of the situation, eating healthy is slowly becoming a luxury with the steady rise of the price of produce, fruit, milk, etc. What society as a whole fails to realize (no thanks to mass pop media) is that we don't need charities and foundations to battle obesity. What we need is to educate the public, and it begins with one's self as an adult to extend the knowledge to the younger (and dare I say economically disadvantaged) generation. So instead of rewarding children with a cheap toy for eating a burger, fries and soft drink, let's teach them the true value of a dollar...and living a long and healthy life.
Gizmodo. That explains why the graphic is garbage.
I agree try to find something healthy in a 7-11
Pffff. 640z or forget it, also double that burger 2 slices of cheese bacon extra mayo, chili cheese the fries. Diet Coke please.
you guys suck! thats obviously a legit graph!!!
Healthy food costs more. That in itself is a problem - especially for people/families with little disposable income.

Yes, the chart is misleading.

Don't want a 1/2 pound burger? Take someone with you, buy one and halve it with him/her. Costs much less, and it's a healthier portion. Duh.

A fast-food burger has at least as much thickness in vegetables - here in Texas anyway. Vegetables are good for you.

Yes, a burger used to cost a lot less in the '50s and '60s. You made a lot less then, too.

The only people who are not "overweight" by today's acceptance standards have their ribs easily visible.

The anti-obesity campaign this country is on encourages anorexia and bulimia. They are healthy conditions, right?

Obesity is not a disease, even though "they" want you to believe it is. It's a condition. A condition of people who don't want to look at pudgy people.

Your healthy weight is not my healthy weight.

Portion control.

Everything in moderation.

If I want to eat it, I'll eat it.

Passing thoughts.
Its all about consumerism...Is all about getting you to spend more...Overload your body, then you need to spend on medicines...Surgery, etc. Until you pay every market industry.
the posted comments far out weigh the legitimacy of the posted image in terms of humor and entertainment lol :P
Its so true its unbelievable
but the people in 21-st century spend a lot of time watching TV, browsing Internet, driving cars and sitting on a desk on work. So it's obvious that we are not moving enough in order to burn the calories.
Also, resraunts shouldn't even be serving this kind of foods.
mi dispiace non sono pratico nello scrivere le lingue straniere.
I can make 8 burgers out of a # of 93/7 ground beef.
healthy manners have gone down
as people get well-off.
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