Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Fat Yanks

It's interesting to read in tandem the blogs of Mark Goodacre and Michael Pahl. Mark has moved from Birmingham, UK to Durham, NC, while Michael has moved from (somewhere in) Canada to Birmingham, UK. These passages particularly struck me. First from Michael:

Food portions are smaller, which partly explains why people are smaller. There's no 'Super-Size Me' here--a trip to Burger King at the Bullring gave us regular-size drinks that were equivalent to smalls in North America, and just enough fries instead of far too many. The American obesity epidemic is one cultural export which is 'largely' absent here (couldn't resist that!).
And from Mark:
After our first weekend living in America, I feel a little like Morgan Spurlock in Supersize Me, though I'm happy to say that our diet has been more interesting and varied than his in that film; I just find that I eat so much more here, and less of the right things, and need to find ways of curbing this.
Here's my question: Is this true just of fast-food restaurants in Europe, or in general? Or is it a UK thing? I spent a week in Holland and Belgium last year, and I don't recall ever noticing that the portions served were smaller. In fact, at the Vismarkt in Groningen, I got a serving of (excellent) fish n'chips so large that I couldn't finish it. But, while abroad, I never ate at any American-style fast food restaurants. (Interestingly, I noticed a lot more Burger Kings in Holland than "Maison McD.")

Here's a shot of moi in Groningen last year:


Tim Bulkeley said...

There's a best selling book that claims the French are slim because they eat small portions (even though they love rich food) - our homestay would suggest that it's true...

Of course there's always the "Jesus Diet" ;)

Wayne Leman said...

Ed, from your picture it doesn't look like you've visited any fast food places in the U.S. either. Good for you, if that's the case. I don't like them, altho I'll buy a burger at Wendy's or Burger King (never at McD) when I have to. My wife and I never hit the fast food places when traveling overseas.

Speaking of food, my wife and I had some nice home-made pizza tonight, brought to us by their friends who were helping them welcome their first child, another beautiful granddaughter for us. Their names, Adam and Wendy McC. Small world, eh?!! It was fun to learn that you and Adam read Aramaic together. Our son-in-law attends HUC grad. school with Adam.

Steven said...
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Steven said...

In truth, portion size isn't the problem, it's the "gotta finish it" mentality of most of America that is the problem.