Lets fight fat people!

Reply Mon 21 Dec, 2009 10:40 pm
What I find so annoying is that every second commercial is food related
and these commercials are good: mouth watering juicy hamburgers, appetizing
pizza slices with a pound of cheese on it, then a competitive hamburger joint,
equally inviting and so it goes the whole evening.

They stopped showing cigarette commercials and I think they should do the same with the fast food commercials.

I have yet to see a food commercial where an apple is involved.
Reply Mon 21 Dec, 2009 10:45 pm
It's easy to sit around and blame processed food too.

I don't very little processed food.

But I'm lucky, I don't work and have time to cook every night.

And I'm lucky because I'm not poor and can buy fresh foods.

But I grew up with a mom who is (seriously) the world's worst cook. We ate TV dinners and Space Food Sticks. I've got enough chemicals in me to qualify as my own pharma-lab. I'm not skinny but I'm not fat. (I'm frikken menopausal so if you call me fat I'll likely knock your block off.)

When Mr. B was out of town last week Mo and I ate a lot more crappy food (read: ate out) than we usually do and I can totally feel it dragging me down.

Dadpad is right on -- it's our life style. Computers have allowed us not to move. Some people don't even have to leave the house to go to work. If we do have to leave the house, a machine does most of our actual work. The grocery store delivers, the dry cleaners deliver, the restaurants deliver, you can buy anything on the internet and have it delivered.

Not moving can create depression. Like Jes noted, depression can lead you to crawl under the covers and eat ice cream.

I've laughed about it on here before -- in my neighborhood people hire yard men, house cleaners and baby sitters so that they have time to go to the gym.

Rake your own leaves, play with your own kids, clean your own house and you'll be too tired to even think about the gym.
Reply Mon 21 Dec, 2009 11:02 pm
Cj, you've fallen for the Madison Avenue brainwashing.

It isn't mouthwatering, juicy or even edible most of the time. It is food styling. Want some examples of what is done to create those photographs and commercials that make people drool? You'll never look at them the same way again.


Styling techniques

In addition to choosing, preparing and composing plated food, food stylists use numerous techniques to make appear the food as attractive as possible. These may include:

* creating steam with cool air nebulizers or a combination of chemicals that give off smoke that gives the appearance of steam;
* spraying food with water or mixtures of water, corn syrup, or other liquids to keep food looking fresh;
* making a mixture of solid shortening, corn syrup, and powdered sugar (essentially a very stiff frosting) that can be scooped to simulate real ice cream;
* using a variety of browning agents (usually mixtures used to brown gravies or sometimes heat activated liquids used in commercial bakeries) to enhance the color/brownness of cooked meats and poultry;
* using heavy cream instead of milk in bowls of cereal to prevent flakes from becoming soggy too quickly. The use of white glue is generally discouraged, and is not usually encountered. (as most cereal companies prohibit this practice).
* blanching green vegetables to just bring up their bright color, rather than cooking them completely. Other vegetables and foods may be cooked just to color, so they do not brown or become wrinkled if they must stand under the camera for a while.
* adding water to beverages so light will filter through better and add sparkle to the drink.

Cold beverages

To create the effect of a thin layer of condensation forming on the outside of glasses containing cold liquid, dulling spray may be applied,[10] with paper or masking tape protecting the non-"frosted" areas. More pronounced condensation and dew drops are imitated by spraying the glass with corn syrup or glycerin.[11]

Ice cubes used in shoots are made of acrylic, so they won't move, melt or float.[12] Fresh-looking bubbles on the surface of drinks are created by applying a mixture of the drink and detergent to the surface with an eyedropper.[13] White glue may be used in lieu of milk,[10] and a mixture of brewed coffee and water instead of tea.[14]


Salads in food photography are composed with a view to creating appealing textures, shapes and colors. To improve support and aid in composition, salad in a bowl is built around a smaller bowl placed upside down in the outer bowl.[15] Salad greens are kept fresh and crisp by misting them with cold water prior to composition.[16] Salad dressing is not normally used, as it makes the salad slippery and difficult to style, but the appearance of dressing may be created by sprinkling herbs and spices over the wet salad, or mixing them in oil and applying it with a brush.[17]

Fruit salads are particularly challenging to shoot because of the short time the fruit pieces, which are cut immediately prior to final photography, retain their appearance.[18] As only the outer layer of the salad is of interest, the concealed interior of the salad bowl may be filled by mashed potatoes or another mixture.[19] Thick or heavy dressings don't photograph well; they are usually thinned and applied by brush.[20]

Hamburgers and sandwiches

Hamburger photography is challenging because the buns dent easily and an assembled burger is quick to lose its visual appeal.[21] When assembling the burger, the ingredients are held in place with toothpicks and the meaty interior of tomato slices is removed to avoid juice discoloring the ingredients.[22] The meat patties are superficially cooked, the edges browned with a torch and the meat made to look more appetizing with a colorant.[23] The edges of melted cheese slices may be brushed with household cleaner to make them look freshly melted longer.[24] Condiments such as mayonnaise are applied to the edges with an applicator bottle.[25]

Sandwiches are assembled used similar techniques. Wet paper towels are used to prevent the bread from drying out. If a half sandwich is to be depicted, the bread and the components are individually sliced with scissors and assembled in place.[26]


Food for Thought: Making Food Look Good

Have you ever wondered how they make food look so good in ads?

Because working with real food can be quite challenging, some food stylists use these "tricks of the trade" to make the food they photograph look delicious.

* That luscious-looking roasted turkey has been washed in dish washing detergent, cooked briefly, painted with ten coats of food colouring, and blowtorched (to give it that lovely roasted look!)

* Those natural-looking bunches of grapes are sprayed with baby powder deodorant.
* The molded cream pudding is hard as a rock, because it contains ten times the amount of gelatin than a regular pudding would. (We don't want it to melt under those hot lights!)
* The ice you see in that frosty beverage is most likely acrylic "ice," that refracts light better than real ice and doesn't melt.
* The rich-looking syrup being poured over pancakes? Motor oil works well here.

* Like that milkshake? It's a combination of food colouring, and whipped shortening! And don't go for the ice cream instead - it's shortening too!

* That great looking bowl of cereal on the cover of your cereal box is actually cereal and white glue, instead of milk, to prevent the cereal from getting soggy. (No one wants to buy a box of mush!)

* Those veggies that look as if if they were just picked and dew-covered? Mix glycerine into a spray bottle with water and the drops will stay on for about 15 minutes. (Glycerin can be used to give any food a juicy, glistening appearance.)

* Want your Barbecued ribs to look mouth-watering? Half-cook the ribs, paint with wood stain and BBQ sauce.

* Those french fries in a carton? Each one has been individually selected, from hundreds of fries, and secured to a styrofoam base inside the package so that they stand up straight and fan out nicely.

That hamburger that makes you want to run to your nearest fast-food outlet, is the product of a process that includes:

* frying the hamburger for 20 seconds on each side
* using red-hot skewers pressed against the meat to give it that "grilled" look
* painting the hamburger with food colouring to give it that plump, brown, juicy appearance.
* picking the best out of hundreds of hamburger buns (strategically gluing on extra sesame seeds if necessary)
* lining the buns with cardboard so that they don't get soggy
* snipping and spreading the burger from behind so that it looks bigger in the bun
* selecting only the most perfect condiments and securing them in place with toothpicks
* securing the top of the bun to the hamburger with toothpicks
* The finishing touch to a hot food photo-shoot? Artificial 'steam' placed behind the food to give it that 'fresh from the oven' appearance.
Reply Mon 21 Dec, 2009 11:03 pm
That's another thing: buying produce and fruits costs quite a bit and I've yet
to see a coupon/discount for these type of foods.

For the mother who comes home at 5 pm and has hungry kids waiting, it's so tempting to put a pizza in the oven instead of cooking a meal from
scratch that takes good 30 minutes.
Reply Mon 21 Dec, 2009 11:07 pm
Butrflynet, it still is looking very tempting and I also know that the hamburger doesn't taste nearly as good as it looks, but the desire to eat that juicy hamburger is given with these darn commercials.

Now, lucky for me, I hardly watch TV and I have a hamburger maybe once
a months, but the typical American watches good 2 - 3 hours of TV at night
and there are a lot of trips to the refrigerator due to suggestive food commercials.
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Reply Mon 21 Dec, 2009 11:34 pm
Where the **** were you THEN??
I was busy. But didnt all that help to get you to lose weight ? If someone had said you look marvellous, keep up the good work, wouldnt you have stayed fat ?
Reply Mon 21 Dec, 2009 11:36 pm
What about you sylexadic, are you a yo-yo dieter ?
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Reply Mon 21 Dec, 2009 11:49 pm
shewolfnm wrote:
And yet, we continue to eat boxes, packages and products instead of real food. You are what you eat in this country. We are losing our ability to make healthy choices because cheap processed foods are the norm.

Yeah. So? How does this refute anything in the article? Can't America have a both problems at once -- the junk food and obesity on the one hand and the one with body type bigots on the other?
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Reply Tue 22 Dec, 2009 07:32 am
I never asked for that. I only asked to be treated decently, like every other human being deserves.

Oh yes -- food stylings/ads.

Try fasting for a day. Used to do this on Yom Kippur. But also park yourself in front of a television set. No fair watching an ad-free channel like public TV or popping in a movie. Nope. Your choices are ONLY broadcast television. Watch for, let's say, four hours. Of course you are on a full fast here -- you can't even have water. Nothing. Just watch.

Hamburgers. Soda. Ribs. French fries. All shown in about a thousand different ways. There are a few PSAs (public service announcements) about things like milk. But those are few and far between. It's about convenience.

One reason, BTW, why there is such a correlation between obesity and income is because of the lack of actual supermarkets in poorer neighborhoods. In small bodegas and the like with tiny profit margins, they are going to stock Hostess cupcakes, not romaine lettuce. The cupcakes keep better, and they'll be bought. The romaine may very well rot on the shelf.

People are not taught to cook in school any more. That's another piece of this. When I was in Junior High, Home Economics was mandatory for all of the girls (after Title Nine, it became mandatory for both genders). One semester was sewing. The other was cooking and baking. We mainly baked as we could (and did) eat it afterwards, or bring it home. But we also learned how to do things like preheat the oven and measure out food and store it properly. I can see a more modern Home Ec. course teaching those things, plus how to measure out a correct portion size (most people have zero clue in this area -- did you know that a serving of mashed potatoes should be about the size of a softball?) and how to put together a nutritious meal on a budget.

Another piece of it is, yes, culture. How many people in the South eat barbecue? Pork, grease and salt. How many in New England eat chowder? Clams, potatoes, grease, salt and heavy cream. Etc. etc. etc. I'm not saying everyone wants to (or should) eat salad 24/7. But community and religious leaders could push things as well. Want less obesity? Maybe try encouraging that the church picnic have fewer pies and more vegetables. And while you're at it, pull the vending machines out of the schools. They never should have gotten in there. Find some other way to finance education, and if that means raising taxes then suck it up and raise taxes. Don't finance the library and the Biology lab on Little Debbie Snack Cakes.

When I was a child, the only people who I saw were morbidly obese were my mother's family and my Chemistry teacher. And I mean morbidly, as in over 300 pounds, possibly over 400. Laboring to breathe. Unable to do much.

Now you see a lot more of it, and my mother's family is not only still huge but it's their younger children, in their 20s, who are that way, now, too, and not just the 50-plus-year-old men I recall from my childhood. It has been on the rise for a few decades, and zoomed up this decade. If anyone wants a name for this decade, it's not the Me Decade or the Roaring Twenties or whatever. It's The Fat Decade.

There is, to be sure, a great deal more chemical junk out there in our foods. High fructose corn syrup didn't even exist a few years ago. And a lack of movement is also key. One of the parts of a school's budget that is cut these days is Physical Education. My mother's family -- remember them? -- most of them are teachers. And they tell me that the only way the kids get recess in the New York School System is if they have perfect attendance and had perfect attendance the previous school day.

Huh? So one kid has a swine flu scare and is kept at home as a courtesy to the other children, and then no one for two days can have recess? That's absurd.

Dadpad is right. There are so many more conveniences these days, and they are small but they add up. But the good news is that small bits of fitness also add up, so walking to the corner store instead of driving is going to help, and jogging over to the Post Office instead of purchasing stamps online will help. Every little nugget of fitness helps. Boomer is also right; it doesn't have to be a gym. Clean the damned house yourself. Shovel snow. Cut the lawn, and not with a riding mower. Your muscles will get sore. You'll torch some calories.

I'm fortunate to be living in an area with public transportation. I often leave the car in the driveway. I walk to a bus stop. I get into the city and I walk some more. I know that in a lot of areas of this country people do not have these options. There's another thing that could be done with some tax money in this country. I'm not saying every town must have a subway, but buses don't require the laying of track. Get people out of their cars.

I could go on, and this is long enough already. There are a lot of things that can be done. This past decade has been a perfect storm for obesity. Artificial foods. Lack of movement. A culture that is beginning to see being overweight as the norm. It's as if it's an enormous social experiment being conducted, and we are all of the subjects.
Reply Tue 22 Dec, 2009 07:33 am
CalamityJane wrote:

That's another thing: buying produce and fruits costs quite a bit and I've yet
to see a coupon/discount for these type of foods.

that's interesting.

Is that a particular problem to California?

In every state I've been to, I've found coupons for fruit and veggies in the papers - used to use them when I visited Set in Ohio and when I vacationed in various eastern Seaboard states. I believe Chai2 has also posted about the availability of coupons for produce, milk and eggs in Texas.
Reply Tue 22 Dec, 2009 08:08 am
Yep. This is a huge element of "why now."

Portion sizes are another. As in, not the food itself per se but how much of it is seen as normal to eat. That's changed a lot in the last 50 years or so.

This one talks about how much portions have changed in 20 years:



L: 20 years ago, 500 calories; R: today, 850 calories


L: 20 years ago, 45 calories; R: today, 330 calories

Snippet from a NYT article:

Some portions at fast-food restaurants are now two to five times larger than those of the 1950s, researchers have found. While statistics were not available for casual restaurants like Friday’s or Ruby Tuesday, there is little doubt that their items, too, have grown significantly bigger. Mr. Snead recalled that about a decade ago, his chain, worried about the enormous portions at the fast-growing Cheesecake Factory, changed from round plates to ovals so it could pile on more food.


Another snippet:

The Contribution of Expanding Portion Sizes to the US Obesity Epidemic
Lisa R. Young, PhD, RD and Marion Nestle, PhD, MPH
The authors are with the Department of Nutrition and Food Studies, New York University, New York City.

Because larger food portions could be contributing to the increasing prevalence of overweight and obesity, this study was designed to weigh samples of marketplace foods, identify historical changes in the sizes of those foods, and compare current portions with federal standards.
Methods. We obtained information about current portions from manufacturers or from direct weighing; we obtained information about past portions from manufacturers or contemporary publications.
Results. Marketplace food portions have increased in size and now exceed federal standards. Portion sizes began to grow in the 1970s, rose sharply in the 1980s, and have continued in parallel with increasing body weights.
Conclusions. Because energy content increases with portion size, educational and other public health efforts to address obesity should focus on the need for people to consume smaller portions.


Can also get research on how we are primed to eat what is put in front of us, regardless of hunger cues. People who had short-term memory loss were given "lunch" cues and ate a big lunch over and over again -- having no memory of the one they just ate, even though the previous one was there in their tummy.

My general take:

Lots of different factors, including but not limited to quality of food, our current lifestyle (boomer's point about having time to cook), lack of exercise in our everyday lives, poverty (highly processed foods tend to be cheaper and more accessible), and an inflated sense of what a reasonable portion size is have all contributed to the obesity epidemic.

These factors then operate on genetic predisposition. Some people can eat terribly but still stay thin. Some people eat quite reasonably but get fat anyway (and would have been fat at any point in history -- while there are too MANY fat people now, it's not like fat people were invented in the 20th century). Then there are a bunch of people in the middle who, genetically speaking, could swing either way (fat or thin) depending on the slew of factors I list above.
Reply Tue 22 Dec, 2009 09:57 am
I kept looking at this thread and thinking, "why does Shewolf want to hurt fat people?"

Then I realized there must be a missing comma. "Let's fight fat, people!"
Reply Tue 22 Dec, 2009 09:59 am
I kinda like these lifestyle changes, though.

I'd much rather read a book on the stationary bike, or play a set of tennis, than edge the yard and get a snoot full of pollen.
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Reply Tue 22 Dec, 2009 11:17 am
I don't think it's universal to California. Vegetables are offered in cans and
frozen with coupons - not fresh produce.

Despite having a variety of great produce here in California where it is home
grown, it is still rather expensive. For the price of 2 lb. of oranges you get
a big Swanson's lasagne ready made.

Reply Tue 22 Dec, 2009 11:26 am
well yeah but who wants 2 lbs of oranges when you can get a big swansons lasagne ready made. You have to peel the oranges.
Reply Tue 22 Dec, 2009 11:26 am
Very good post, jespah. It really starts with the kids and school. We're lucky
that our school has changed to a more nutritious lunch program, but there are still soda and chips readily available.

Go to any family restaurant and see what the little ones drink - yep, giant cokes
and tons of macaroni & cheese. For breakfast, the kids get pancakes with syrup,
lunch is pizza and for dinner more carbohydrates. They're not to blame though,
kids eat what their parents eat and learn eating habits at home. If Papa doesn't eat salads and vegetables, little Johnny won't either.

0 Replies
Reply Tue 22 Dec, 2009 11:28 am
dyslexia wrote:

well yeah but who wants 2 lbs of oranges when you can get a big swansons lasagne ready made. You have to peel the oranges.

Papperlapapp Laughing
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Reply Tue 22 Dec, 2009 11:28 am
when I lived in Mesa Az I could drive 2 miles to a grapefruit orchard and pick myself 10 lbs of grapefruit for 1$.
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High Seas
Reply Tue 22 Dec, 2009 12:57 pm
jespah wrote:

I never asked for that. I only asked to be treated decently, like every other human being deserves.

I find this statement puzzling, and the statements (by many posters here) to the effect that there is "hatred" against fat people incomprehensible. Hate is an active emotion leading to violent action like murder and mayhem; whatever their other problems, fat people aren't being systematically exterminated. In brief, my question is: in what way were you not treated decently?
High Seas
Reply Tue 22 Dec, 2009 01:06 pm
Ionus - fat people (including those formerly so) seem to have this habit of blaming their problem on persons and events beyond their control. The New York Times published some time ago an article objecting to a downmarket store opening in the heart of Manhattan's shopping district >
...Since the 1970s, J. C. Penney, like a retail Island of Dr. Moreau, has been doing a sinister experiment with various designers, turning them into something ... not quite human.....
...AND herein lies the genius of J. C. Penney: It has made a point of providing clothing for people of all sizes .... To this end, it has the most obese mannequins I have ever seen. .... It’s like a headless wax museum devoted entirely to the cast of “Roseanne.”

> and got absolutely deluged with messages blaming the newspaper, the weather, the economic crisis, advertising, the schools, the wars, the Bush administration, racism, etc, etc, by fat readers who never once seem to have realized nobody was trying to force-feed them. It's baffling.
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