Saturday, June 16, 2018

The Normalization of Snacking: BMI = 27.0

Canadians now snack so much that few people sit down to three square meals in a day anymore. Stopping my snacking behavior was probably the most difficult part of my dietary rehab. Now that I no longer snack, I really notice just how often people around me snack, and how often snack and/or take-out food is shown in movies and series.

I recently watched an episode of a cop show from the 70’s. The detectives spent a lot of time with coffee cups in their hands, but no one was eating. I watched a few more episodes and finally saw an old detective eating a lunch that he had brought to work in a brown paper bag. When is the last time you saw a workmate show up with a brown bag lunch?

I decided to watch an episode of a much more recent cop show. In the first episode I picked, the cliché of cops talking about a case while eating from Chinese take-out containers popped up. This sort of scene really is cliché now but would have been very out of place just 30 years ago. It’s not just cops, though, because even the bad guys seem to need snacks to plan a robbery. I recently watched Ocean’s Eleven and noticed Brad Pitt snacking throughout the movie.

These big bags of snack chips should be for a family or guests to share. I have to wonder how many of those bags get eaten by a single person in one evening. I know I’ve wolfed down a party-sized bag of snack-mix in an evening but at least I was embarrassed about it. These days you can open a giant bag of snack chips and leave them by your monitor to graze on all day at work and no one seems to think that is strange at all.

The snack food aisle is just for the salty snacks, though, because the cookies get an aisle of there own in the middle of the store.

Even the breakfast aisle is turning into a third snack food aisle. This section used to be for granola bars, but now there is more chocolate and caramel than grains to be found here. It’s not hard to see that the snack food market is the fastest growing segment of the food industry.

The baked goods section offers us some more snacks. One of my favorites used to be the one-bite brownies – I would finish the bag in an afternoon, one bite at a time.

The yoghurt aisle is the snack food aisle for people who don’t want to admit they are snacking. Hey, look, there’s some real fruit in some of that yoghurt.

Don’t get me wrong here, I’m not trying to totally trash talk snacks. I just find it amazing that around half of the grocery store stock is now snack oriented food. The major problem with snacking is that it’s easy to not remember everything you ate in a day if you spent all day snacking and didn’t sit down for a meal. If you have a snacking problem, try taking a photo of everything you eat in a day. You might not like looking back on those albums but they might help you realize just how fast snacks can add up.

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