Did the Demise of the Family Table Contribute to the Obesity Epidemic?
Article by Diet Bites
The Family Table, Dietary History
Ah - the 1950's were the Good Old Days filled with old-fashioned home cooking that was enjoyed in leisurely fashion around the family table. Later in the evening, particularly on those hot summer days, the family would migrate to the Great Outdoors and share a glass of tart lemonade. Boy - that was livin'!
Mama and Daddy knew all about little Johnny's studies at school, his friends, his interests, and about his day. Mealtime was family time - a sharing time for everyone. It was also a great spot to casually test the waters for a new something or another - and to toss out suggestions for things the family could enjoy together like vacations, sporting events and so forth.
Slowly but surely, there was an underground movement in the community that was overtaking those precious moments of family bonding. Something that most folks like to call progress. We like to call this era, 'The Demise of the Family Table'.
Fast Food Enters the Nutritional Picture
Fast food stops began springing up all over the country, sporting prices that made it easier on the family budget to dine out rather than dine at home. That was perceived as a good thing because not only was it kind to the family budget, it also gave the diligent housewife a break from her everyday routine.
Little by little in an effort to catapult the family into a higher tax bracket, housewives began finding employment in larger and larger numbers. That second income really helped the family budget, but most families were experiencing a change in lifestyle. And it was happening so slowly that they didn't even realize the drastic changes that were transpiring in their home-lives.
Meals were not only originating more and more from fast food sources, they came in the way of frozen t.v. dinners - another nicety spawned by the onset of so many new and exciting television shows. So even when the family was together at mealtime, almost 100% of mealtime was spent eating in front of that captivating tube which more and more ministers nicknamed, 'The Devil's Eye'.
As time passed, families now had the mind-set that a faster work pace equaled a higher financial pace. There was no slowing them down now! And once we-humans get something in our little heads, it's very difficult to change our way of thinking.
Boring television shows were substituted with cable television, video games and the cell phone. At this point, Mama and Daddy had no idea what little Johnny's favorite food was - not to mention knowing anything about his group of friends.
And with the demise of the family table, the meal schedule was completely shot to smithereens. Family members dined sporadically - whenever they could fit a meal into their busy lifestyle. In fact, most of the time they found themselves so busy trying to get ahead that they weren't even aware of what they were eating, or how much they were eating. Grazing was born.
In the old days, the work place was exactly that - the work place. In the new Era of Progress, the work place now included many functions where food was as important a player as the employee him/herself. And not just plain-Jane foods, rather fine cuisine-catered foods from well-known restaurants, chefs, gourmet cooks and corner bakeries.
And the work place itself was evolving with more and more office positions and less and less labor intensive positions - thanks to the new age of technology.
These days, salaries and the family income weren't the only things expanding. Waistlines were becoming super-sized, too - along with fast food. Even our children had become involved.
With all the weighty issues in Today's World, we pause and question, " Did the demise of the family table contribute to the obesity epidemic?"
In part, certainly. Mixing up the daily routine can be a good thing, but completely remolding it into faster, more-efficient, more-productive doesn't always mean that it's better. It takes a conscious effort to keep things together, to make them good, to make them happy and fun.
If you find that you miss your family table, we encourage you to put it back together again. Switch off all those electronic apparatuses, unplug the phone and lock the doors - and simply take time to gather your family around the family table for a relaxed, fun time. Time with family equals memories that last forever.
In Summary, Foodnotes:
Stress contributes to weight gain.
Fast food tends to be high in calories because it is generally fried or packed with cheese.
By eating slowly, individuals require less food as it takes about 20 minutes for the stomach to tell the brain, " I feel full" .
Sitting down in a relaxed environment for mealtime allows the individual to savor the flavor of foods.
Individuals employed in low-activity positions could gain better health and vitality by incorporating regular exercise into their daily routine. Gain health, lose weight - not a bad exchange!