“Heavy and Happy” (your Aug. 8 Today feature) highlights a cultural change of which readers may be unaware. The following would have been unattractive, unthinkable, prior to the last 50 to 60 years:
McDonalds’ featured hamburger is the Whopper. Zip’s Drive-In advertises the Belly Buster. A restaurant on Market Street advertised the Monster Thickburger. Restaurants often advertise “All You Can Eat.”
Portions increased. Fifteen or more years ago, my wife and I began splitting one restaurant dinner between us – they’re always enough for two.
Finally, for many years Spokane advertised its annual Riverpark festival as “Pig Out in the Park.” Incredible! Spokaneites actually delight in pigging out? (Belch, burp – excuse me!)
Tastes change – sweet drinks are common, also sweetened breakfast cereal, introduced at early age to children.
Exercise habits changed, TV grew “the couch potato,” and I read that physical education classes in schools are less strenuous than previously normal.
Ladies may be heartened to know that in some Middle Eastern and Latin cultures, men prefer female plumpness to slimness.
It is good that the ladies whom you featured experience no psychological unhappiness from their weight, and we trust they will accept with equanimity the less favorable health outcomes as they age.