How were people in the 50’s, 60’s’ and 70’s so skinny?
People back then ate much less and were more active, and it was less socially acceptable to be fat.
I was born in the mid 1950s. Food portions were much smaller, people were more active, and people were actually called out for being fat. I was called boogerinocerous because of my last name and size. I was a little overweight in grade school. I was bullied. A lot.
It was very rare to see an actual fat person and they were noticed. A only a very few were obese, we were told they had hormone problems. I used to think my grandfather was heavy, but learned he was about 6 feet and weighted just 160. He looked downright skinny in most photos. At the time, I considered him a bit chubby, because people were generally skinnier.
Fast food was much less common and not a part of most peoples’ routine diet. I rarely ate out or got fast food until I was a teenager and occasionally snuck out for burgers. McDonald’s wasn’t even in my town until 1970 or so when I was in high school. A&W root beer and burgers at the drive through was a once-a-year treat. Pizza wasn’t available until I was a in 12th grade. Before then, it was a 20+ mile drive to get some.
Snacks at movie theater were small. Bags of popcorn were tiny, and candy was in regular, small bars and bags.
We were active as a part of daily life. Exercise and workout wasn’t a thing except for football players and jocks. We just moved around a lot using our own bodies, you really didn’t need to go to the gym to get in shape. Nobody joined an athletic club to get fit. They would have been ridiculed in the 60s and 70s. Nobody wanted to look “buffed.”
We had actual PE classes wherein we sweated; I ran a mile every day from 7th–12th grade, even in the extreme heat of suburban Livermore. I rode my bike and walked everywhere from 1st grade until I got my license. I never got driven to school, even in rain. Yes, us kiddies walked to school with a friend, our sister, or even alone.
Even with my much coveted drivers’ license, I didn’t drive to school. The family car was given out for special occasions, like going out with the girlfriend or a group of friends to an appropriate event of some sort. I rode a bicycle or walked most places until a couple of friends got cars when I was in 11th or 12th grade.
For most of my childhood and high school, I rode my bike to the library, swimming pool, friend's houses, stores, hobby shops, music lessons, scout meetings, work, etc. I was rail thin from 4th–12th grade, then I got lazy and ate way too much in college. I rode my bicycle on and off to college, but not that often because my campus was on top of a hill and my apartment was at the bottom. I got rides from friends or took a bus.
I’ve been struggling with my weight ever since I graduated high school in the early 1970s.
Below are some random images showing growth in portion sizes from google image search:
Burgers went from 120 calories to 310
Bagels went from 3 inch/140 calories to 6 inch/350 calories. I’ve been informed in the comments that good bagels were rarely 3 inch, but that bagel sizes have crept up over the years, nonetheless.
Snack sizes ballooned. Fried, popcorn, soft drinks, and burgers at least doubled in calories.
This information was taken from Quora. Click here to view the original post.
Do you agree that people used to eat less?
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