From today’s New Yorker on why “we” are so fat (not you! You look greaaaat), comes word of Goliath Caskets, who make “triple-wide coffins with reinforced hinges that can hold up to eleven hundred pounds.” The New Yorker describes the American passion for extreme (by which I mean, not the normal and perfectly acceptable bulking-up as one ages) weight gain, in a review of the current literature, as mysterious!
But is it really?
Before McDonald’s discovered the power of re-portioning, it offered just a small bag of French fries, which contained two hundred calories. Today, a small order of fries has two hundred and thirty calories, and a large order five hundred. (Add fifteen calories for each package of ketchup.) Similarly, a McDonald’s soda used to be eight ounces. Today, a small soda is sixteen ounces (a hundred and fifty calories), and a large soda is thirty-two ounces (three hundred calories).
As McDonald’s is the number one customer for beef in the United States, and one of the top purchasers of potatoes, and it serves nearly 50 million people every day, I think maybe we could start looking around there?
Oh and also, you know, the constant stuffing of faces with corn syrup, but yeah.