Steve Kamb at Nerd Fitness has a lot of interesting information about the world’s growing sugar habit. Sugar, in my opinion, is why children’s favorite holiday is so often Halloween, why people around the world love certain brands of cigarettes, fast food and soda more than other brands, and why sometimes you leave the homemade lunch in your sandwich bag to go bad because only a fast-food meal will do. It’s also, in my opinion and the opinion of lots of people with more expertise than I, why we are so much heavier and achier and softer in the middle than we used to be.
It’s not the aging population. I was looking at a photo of a hangout I frequented as a teen, before the continents separated and the mammals rose. Everyone in the jam-packed room, but one, would be considered severely anorexic by today’s standards. But we saw ourselves as normal, and we weren’t dieting at all. I could eat half a large olive and sausage pizza and not worry about calories for a second. Yet I was thinner than the after pictures for any diet product today. Today, young people in that range — about 15 to 29 years old — have bellies that hang over the waists of their jeans. So do I. The clothes we wore would hardly fit anyone now. Yet everyone is on a diet now. We weren’t.