#somethingtothinkabout The New (Ab)Normal
Portion sizes have been growing. So have we. The average fast food meal today is more than four times larger than it was in the 50s. And adults are, on average, 26 pounds heavier. The culture of “supersized” meals has been growing slowly but surely re-educating us in the process of what a single meal portion actually is. Today, many of us have no clue. Why did it happen in the first place?
Essentially, it all comes down to the amount of money the manufacturer can make of a single purchase. It very soon became clear that selling more of the same with a slightly increased price but in a larger quantity could give a higher profit margin rather than the same item bought twice. Think about the production and delivery costs and the paper work it takes to service one single item in your menu. It costs less to sell you a bigger burger for a slightly higher price rather than two burgers for a lower one. Very soon everyone starts making their products come out in value packs, a lot larger so to entice you with just a few extra cents attached to the price tag. It makes sense for you and it makes sense for the company selling you mini-wholesale. Somewhere down the road the new generation of consumers becomes confused over the amount of food per single portion that is required. The super-sized culture takes off due to the unquestionable consumption of the smallest serving by a single individual that in the past could feed a family of four.
The mini-wholesale approach is making us overeat because we buy a lot more these days: we buy more and we eat more. We eat what we think is a portion for one because we were led to believe it is a portion for one. We buy huge buckets of ice-cream because it’s cheaper than buying smaller ones whenever we need some. We think we are saving money when in fact we just consume more.
The same way clothing retailers offer you great discounts so you could purchase more items and spend more money with them overall. The supersizing of people led retailers to use the same dirty tricks on customers who enjoy shopping more if they believe that they are smaller in size than they are. These days when you buy an S-size shirt that could really mean anything since some of the smarter brands know that that is the most profitable size they sell. How do you think x-small and xx-small came to exist? We all want to be small so we are provided with small, whatever size it may actually be, because it makes us feel good and buy more.
This affects us all and it’s important that we stop and think before accepting things as they are. We can still save money and we can still lead a healthy lifestyle as long as we are smart about it and don’t give in into value packs and great deals ending up consuming more than we need. When ordering at the restaurant it is almost always a good idea to split your super-sized portion with a friend or keep the other half for later on. Never ask for a larger portion, chances are the portion you are going to get is already way larger than you need.
We don’t have to be supersized just because our meals and clothes are. It’s a choice and knowing what you know now you have a higher chance of making the right one.
Image © makinghealtheasier