In cultures where food is a luxury, being fat is a sign of status. The gratitude felt by America’s pioneers after good harvests established the tradition of Thanksgiving, celebrated by an abundant dinner with indulgent eating. After World War II, when cars dominated life and “fast food” restaurants became popular, younger generations of Americans were fed junk food made with meat products full of hormones that create meatier animals – and larger people.
Children brought up on fast food developed a liking for it and grew increasingly bigger than their parents. Moreover, with the advent of multiculturalism and feminism, standards of beauty and fashion loosened up – and so did the clothes. Sizes got larger and baggier, with extra-large dominating. Sizes 6 and 8 are now what 10 and 12 were a couple of decades ago.
A general gigantism and recklessness have taken over. SUVs made for larger folks clutter city traffic (and increase pollution). Restaurants encourage double portions with bargain prices. Food is served on huge platters, rather than in normal dishes. Butter is spread on bread with abandon, and desserts or drinks are smothered with cream.
For women in the 1940s, slim figures with tight belts were the rule. Then, a fat woman would have been unthinkable as a fashion model. At least now women have been freed from tight belts and bras…
Except for fashion models and dancers, nowadays fewer young women keep a trim figure and, other than professional athletes, a minority of men takes care of their bodies. Increasingly, huge bellies and floppy bulges are becoming a norm.
All seem happy with their choices. Will airplanes and theaters develop seats for “special size” people?
Food is generally permeating our entire culture. Even modern cosmology uses concepts such as “black holes devouring galaxies”! Having discarded religious codes that regulate fasting, perhaps humans are transmuting into a new species of glutton giants.