Sunday, October 28, 2007

"Portion Distortion"

Carol and I had supper at the Panera restaurant in Doral and then continued with our Friday night date by going next door to Publix for grocery shopping. (Carol hit a home run in the romance department, obviously.)

The Panera restaurant serves food that seems to be pretty healthy. Carol had a salad that had a 3 oz. piece of grilled salmon on it. I had a Mediterranean salad of some sort - it had Gorgonzola pieces as its protein: really tasty.

I noticed that there were some very overweight people there, however. It seemed like the older the people appeared, the more they were overweight. It seemed odd.

Maybe the answer is in this article that we read in Publix' Greenwise magazine, which you can pick up free each week. The thesis of that article is that portion sizes do us in, particularly when we go out to eat. This is a truth that the Weight Watchers program tries to pound in our heads.

Why would Publix be concerned, other than it wanting to be a good citizen that is involved in the food industry? I think it might be that we might be less likely to over-eat when we eat our meals at home. Publix wants to sell us the fixings for those home-cooked meals. Fair enough.

On the other hand, maybe the Social Security crisis will be avoided if we continue on our course of weight-gaining. For the article includes this statement:

Experts warn that being oversized may slash our life expectancy and harm our health in the meantime due to diabetes, heart disease, and other complications of excess weight. "The 20-year-old person with a Body Mass Index of 40 [a measure of the ratio of weight to height, in this case 265 pounds at 5'8"], will live 12 to 14 years less than his counterparts who are lean," says Philip R. Schauer, M.D., director of the Cleveland Clinic Bariatric and Metabolic Institute. (Note that the CDC defines obesity as a BMI at or above 30.)

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