Since I moved out of the U.S. a few years ago, one of the biggest things I have noticed is how fat Americans are. When I was living in the States, even when I was 50 pounds heavier than I am now, I hardly noticed. It seemed I was normal size because there were always plenty of people bigger than me.
A few years ago my family and I moved to a country that has many tourists from all over the world. Today while we were at the playground, I noticed a tour group being led to one of the many lookouts throughout the city to take pictures. I commented to my wife that these were defiantly not Americans based on how skinny the group looked. Out of about 50 people, I did not see one overweight or obese person among them. It turns out that I was right! They were from Germany.
Why are Americans so much fatter? I can only speak from personal experience. I strongly believe that it all boils down to the type of food one consumes on a regular basis along with the level of one’s physical activity on a daily basis. Since moving from America, I am surrounded by people who value fresh fruits and vegetables. Also, people are very active; I always see kids outside running around, people taking walks, and families playing at one of the many parks in our city. Also, gasoline is expensive. People take a lot of public transportation and walk to their destination, often carrying groceries or other kinds of bags.
Also, the portions served in restaurants here are a lot smaller than what I was used to in the U.S. I remember my feeling of shock when I was served a small piece of salmon with a few potatoes and a small soup. We only each got one piece of bread; if you wanted more, you had to pay for it. The real kicker was when we realized that we were not entitled to unlimited refills on our sodas! Since spending more time here, my perspective has changed dramatically; it’s not that the portions here are so small, but that the portions in the restaurants in the U.S. are so huge.
What do you think? Has anyone traveled internationally and noticed a difference in the size of people in other countries?