Seriously…This is the Small Size?
When I started the TD Fitness blog over two years ago, I remember thinking “I hope I don’t run out of things to write about.” For some reason, I thought that eventually I would exhaust all of the possible topics of interest related to health and fitness. I was wrong.
There is always misinformation on the internet to counter, the latest health fad to comment on, or any number of topics that can be better explained and put into terms we can all understand…and then there’s the fast food industry, that NEVER seems to disappoint when it comes to possible topics.
Some of you may remember a previous post about my drive-thru encounter. Well, here’s another one – this time from my visit to a local movie theater.
Recently I’ve been traveling for work and yesterday I decided to catch a movie at the dollar theater. After purchasing my ticket, I opted for the obligatory popcorn and a soft drink. The dialogue went something like this:
Me: Can I get a small popcorn and a small drink?
Attendant: Would you like a medium drink for 25 cents more? (We’ve all heard this one before.)
Me: No thanks, a small is fine.
Attendant: That’ll be $9.25. (Yes, my jaw dropped. I’m paying 9 times more than my movie ticket cost.)
Me: (After receiving my items.) Is this a small popcorn?
Attendant: Yes, sir.
Me: What’s that smaller size displayed beside this one?
Attendant: Oh, that’s a junior small popcorn.
Those of you who know me probably know the exact look I had on my face. Seriously? I have to order a “junior small” to get a small popcorn?
I don’t blame those who work in the fast food industry. It’s not the fault of the teenager with an afterschool job working at the theater. This is cultural. Americans oversize everything. This alone wouldn’t be an issue if we had the willpower to stop eating when we’re full, but most people don’t. Those who are responsible know this and make money from it.
The truth is it’s cheaper to prepare, distribute, and serve in bulk. But it costs us dearly when we consume in bulk. It costs us aches and pains that result from obesity-related disease. It costs us money when we must pay for medical care, through insurance or otherwise. Most importantly, it costs us precious time with loved ones when our time on this earth is cut short by something that could have been prevented
Whose responsibility is it to fix the disconnect between excessive serving sizes and the amount we should be consuming? That’s an ongoing debate, but I can tell you who’s left paying the bill – it’s you, me, and every other consumer being led down a road to bad health and poor lifestyle choices.
It’s up to each of us to individually make the right decision when it comes to our health. Pay for the size you want, not necessarily the size they want to sell you. Stop eating when you’re satisfied (if we can even identify this point anymore). Just because you have a large popcorn, super plate of nachos, or big gulp drink doesn’t mean you have to consume the whole thing.
Make smart decisions. You can’t afford not to. Otherwise you will pay the price.