I Can't Believe I Ate the Whole Thing

You can eat in, eat out, eat crow, eat dirt, eat humble pie, and eat your words. You can eat dust, eat your heart out, and be eaten up inside. You can also be eaten out of house and home. That’s a lot of eating. No wonder America has an obesity problem.

Let’s start with your stomach. It is, after all, the first stop for everything you eat. Your stomach is a muscular, elastic, pear-shaped bag, lying crosswise in your abdominal cavity just beneath your diaphragm. It changes size and shape depending on the position of your body and the amount of food that’s in it. Adults’ stomachs are about 12 inches long and 6 inches wide at their widest point. A fully loaded adult stomach holds about 2 to 3 pints of food and drink.

Now that it’s on the table, let’s talk about food. We’re bombarded from morning until night with choices over what and how much we eat. Everywhere you turn there are candy bars, chips, cookies, sugar cereals, and prepared meals with loads of sugar, fat, and salt. There are also fruits and vegetables available, but how often do you see them in the checkout lane at the grocery or in a vending machine?

These days there are chain restaurants specializing in everything from hamburgers to pizza to Tex-Mex. Look at the following chart. Consider the details of what you’re eating. Aside from the big dose of sugar, fat, and salt, would this one meal even fit into a 2 to 3 pint stomach all at once?


Food
Fat/
% Daily
Sodium/
% Daily
Calories/
% Daily
Chips and Hot Sauce
36 gm
55%
2590mg
108%
480
24%
Bleu Cheese Bacon Burger
71gm
109%
2070mg
86%
1090
55%
Homestyle Fries
26gm
40%
250mg
10%
430
22%
Large Classic Coca-Cola
0
5mg
<0.1%
214
11%
Choc Chip Cookie Cake
64gm
98%
680mg
28%
1240
62%
TOTALS
197gm
302%
5595mg
124%
3454
173%

Pediatrician and academician David A. Kessler, M. D., believes that eating sugar, fat, and salt makes us eat more sugar, fat, and salt.[i] He observes that the food and restaurant industries dish out great-tasting, big-serving, bad-for-us food, not just because the food is profitable, but also because we demand it. According to Kessler, we demand it because we’re hooked on it; in other words, it’s a habit.

Eating Dos and Don’ts 
· Think about what you put in your mouth.
· Don’t eat more calories than you burn.
· Change the way you think, and it will change the way you eat.
· Break the sugar-fat-salt cycle one food at a time.

See more bad habits.


[i] Kessler, David A. The End of Overeating: Controlling the Insatiable American Appetite. Macmillan, 2009.