How were people so effortlessly thin in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s? – IOTW Report

How were people so effortlessly thin in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s?

Have you ever looked back at your old photos and thought to yourself, “Why does everyone look so thin?”

If you look at any “crowd shot” from a few decades ago, everyone appears to be so much healthier looking than they are today. Why is that?

52 Comments on How were people so effortlessly thin in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s?

  1. “We’re from the government and we’re here to help.”

    I was guessing “food pyramid”, seems correct.

    It is also about the time ” government” and charities started inserting themselves into trying to feed “the children”…

  2. People actually walked, went outdoors, were active, etc.
    Only 3-4 TV channels.
    Had to go to a theater to see movies.
    FAR FAR less junk food & fast food.
    Microwave ovens were rare.
    No internet, cell phones.

    A very real stat is that 80% of American black women over age 17 are obese.
    What society would ever just shrug their shoulders at that?
    Only a society with a death wish…

  3. Morbidity obese people didn’t go out in public. Fat-shaming was in full bloom. Maybe we should bring it back. When you have a 250 pounder in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition, you know we have a five-alarm emergency.

  4. Oh and walking through shopping malls was a fun activity, even if you didn’t buy anything.
    When was the last time shopping was fun or the last time you went to a mall?

  5. “Obese swim suit model” is their way to poke you in the eye. If you are a true cynic, you can see that is an organized push in one direction. Fake medicine, fake food, fake education, fake voting, fake news, and soon fake cars.
    You can see that a “car” that goes under 200 miles (most true ranges), can be shut down remotely, and takes hours to eke out another 200 miles, is not a true transportation device.
    PS, I love the evidence that we have a “Fake Biden” actor. Very compelling.

  6. high fructose corn syrup wasn’t an ingredient in food
    mom made real food
    no fast food chains on every corner, no juice boxes
    kids went outside to play
    dads/sons cut the lawn (all the weeds came with the lawn services)

  7. clayusmcret is right; we ate real food, not the federal diet which is destroying us today.

    Eat Paleo/Keto/Carnivore or at least low carb for better health. Because our medical system is hopelessly compromised (see Canada and England for a preview of coming attractions).

  8. I was converting old 1930 home movies into dvd form and one of the things I noted was food habits…the Turkeys were large but not large breasted and came with feet and neck attached…cooked with just pepper and the dressing was made from bread crusts, pecans, apple slices ,butter and what looked like sausage. That led me to see that in every home was a pecan bowl with tools for a quick snack. One film had my mother and three friends goofing around and they were all gnawing on an apple…apples were in six of the 31 dvds by chance. This was in Texas where thousands of pecan trees were planted over the 1800s. Apples were imported but lasted for the trip from wherever. No fat people in the entire family of about 100 in the movies…I write this on my couch next to my coffee and two chocolate croissants and within fifteen feet of a chocolate stash, bacon pre cooked and not, coffee cream, everlasting Xmas cookies, corn chips for dipping into anything on earth, ginger snaps and a pressure can of sweet whipped cream for a quick high for me and my dog whose open mouth must not be filled because of the mess when he closes it..I am not fat by todays standard but compared to those in the dvd I am.. I am waiting for the coming food shortages to help me lose weight but my son says that when the groceries are almost bare, the government will have the army supply us with massive amounts of Doritos that Biden is storing secretly in Ukrainian. Sorry for the ramble but pushing 80 years next November and watching illegals 100 yards away milling around about something ..

  9. There weren’t soda dispensers in all the gas stations, and people didn’t drink 3 or 4 64 oz fountain sodas every day. There wasn’t high fructose corn syrup in everything. We prepared food at home and rarely ate out. People walked, rode bicycles, and spent more time outdoors. Etc., etc….

  10. People ate at home for the most part, home cooked meals. Even eating a McDonalds HB was a treat. They actually mowed their own yards, raked their own leaves, washed their clothes and hung them out on the line to dry, ironed their clothes. Spent a large portion of their day outdoors, men worked manual labor for the most part, not near as many suits as today. Their vacations for the most part were outdoor activities, camping, fishing, amusement parks where they chased after their kids all day, national parks, etc. Moms stayed home and ran after kids all day.
    When they did have relaxing time they had to actually get up and walk to the tv to change between the 3 channels, turn the light on and off, turn the fan on and off. Wanted to answer the phone you had to get up and pick it up from the receiver.
    There weren’t video games for kids to sit in front of all day, kids had to go outside and play tag, hide and seek, kick ball, baseball, cowboys and Indians, etc.

  11. But if I drink diet soda, I can have the mumbo jumbo Snickers bar.
    Easy calculation: 3500 calories = 1 pound.
    One bag of chips = 2000 calories.
    Eat less or move more.
    Stop eating until you feel full, it already to late.

  12. Seed oils were rare, instead people ate & used fat.
    Not much processed food was available-I remember when Hamburger
    Helper came out, it was a big deal.
    Fast food was an infrequent treat.
    Every one was active.
    Eating nutrient dense foods brings about satiation. When you fill
    up on simple carbs like fructose, refined grains or things
    like chips, it seems like you can never eat enough.

    My diet is mostly animal protein & real fat and some fermented veggies. My exercise routine is daily weighs and/or CV of some sort.

  13. Back in the late 50’s and early 60’s it was very rare that my family ever went out to eat and then it was considered a treat. Of course, we had our own cows, my dad and his older brother always a raised a couple of cows every year on my uncle’s farm just N. of Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho so we always had fresh meat and got produce from my grandparent’s garden, fresh eggs from Chicken Joe’s and junk food wasn’t as readily available back then, nor were there many rip-off convenience stores. All in all, it was a better time with more time for family, to be outdoors all day during the Summer, being a free-range kid only to come back in doors at dusk along with my 3 brothers and our dog when my dad would whistle for us that it was time to come home. And there weren’t that many fat kids and those that were put to shame as being fatties etc.

  14. d. All of the Above

    Some years ago I suffered from a lengthy chronic illness that fed off of sugar in all its forms. For several months I had to eliminate all foods that contained any kind of sugar – sucrose, fructose, lactose, glucose — or any that quickly turned to sugar – obvious root vegetables and starchy types, like peas and corn. My dietary choices were reduced to any kind of meat and fish and green leafy veggies (except cabbage).

    In my research of the cause of my condition was that the end of WWII brought about a dramatic change in American (and world) eating habits. In the evolution of field rations for troops, nearly every kind of food had been processed and made into something that would fit neatly into a sealed container and not spoil for a very long time. It was also thought that sugar would be a good source of calories and energy for the soldier, in addition to the chocolate, gum and other candies placed in ration tins.

    Many of our technologies, including food development and processing, spring from a need by the government in wartime which are later advanced and marketed in peacetime.

    Post-WWII we experienced a hundredfold increase in sugar consumption. Thirty years ago, when I first read the stats, Americans were eating on average 40 pounds of sugar a year; about a third of that hidden in processed foods. I’m sure it is much higher now.

    What grandma called a “sweet tooth” is actually a serious addiction.

  15. I am about 6 feet and 2 inches tall and never weighed above 150 in HS and was skinny as a rail with skinny bird legs. I ran track in my Junior year of HS in 1970, half mile and a mile and could run a five-minute mile. Even when I was in the Navy and working on the flight deck of the Kitty Hawk, I was tall and thin with a 32-inch waist and consuming 5 to 6,000 calories a day just to keep up with all the hard work we did and didn’t gain a pound. It was only later that I gained weight after I was married and now weigh approximately 230 to 235 pounds. We were better off when everything wasn’t so darn convenient and readily available and there was no such thing as high tech (3 channels on a black and white TV, mostly AM radio usually top 40 or cowpie music, thanks to my dad) we were more active back then physically than we are now.

  16. The boss still bakes Christmas cookies and where do the rejects that didn’t turn out quite good enough for the give away packages? Not to mention the leftovers from over doing it? Piles and tins covering the dining room table. Gram’s cookies and treats were stored up in the cool attic at Christmas with some oranges sent from FL and only accessible with her leading the way (50’s). They made their own laundry soap and canned from a huge garden. One of my jobs was breaking up the pans of hardened soap with a screw driver and hammer, then into an old hand crank food grinder. Work to help out was considered fun. All their ways would not be understood by most today.

    225 pounds every January at the beginning of the month. Then the struggles to get back to 200 (if possible before yard work season).

  17. You used to have to go to the circus to see a fat lady and she weighed only around 300 pounds. Now, you don’t even qualify to be on reality TV unless you weigh 1,000 pounds or more.

  18. The elephant in the room – so to speak – is the high cost and dependence on the health care industry to treat weight related (usually chronic) diseases. We all know what they and their derivations are.

    If someone got it into their heads to launch an anti-obesity campaign along the same lines as the anti-smoking or anti-drunk driving campaigns, I can’t imagine what the blowback would be today! But we are overdue for one. One would think that pharma, the supplements, and health care industries actually fuel a fat-sick population.

  19. beachmom
    JANUARY 5, 2023 AT 11:28 AM

    “Recess, even in high school”

    We had a smoking area in the ’70s at my HS, and most males did. The teachers patrolling it were pretty progressive (’70s), and one would even respond to “Hey Mr. J, turn around” by walking past the pot smoking kids sideways with his back to them so he didn’t “see” it. You would think that would have made them fatter, but not so much. Mr. J himself may have lost weight in prison because my former baby sitter was now an undercover cop working the smoking area (and worried I’d recognize her but I never did), and she passed all these shenanigans and his pot dealing to a prosecutor somewhere, and they still prosecuted such things at the time, so he may have ended up slim from the prison food and the workouts from the prison rapes.

    Othet than that, dunno. As kids there wasn’t much tv so we played cops and robbers or cowboys and indians, and ran around outside pointing realistic looking toy weapons with no orange tips at each other, and this never bothered the cops at all, so maybe that helped. Moms had to hunt us down outside for dinner, so that probably helped her, too.

  20. After my diabetes diagnosis, I went Keto. It worked! Heart doc was literally angry that I lost weight and did not require his awful surgery. Diabetes Doc was pushing the weekly shots Trulicity. Did you know that junk is $1000 a month?

  21. The most important thing rarely discussed. The quality of the food you are eating today.
    They sacrificed quality, healthy, organic food, with generically modified crap in order to mass produce and make vegetables/fruits, ..etc available around the year and not only seasonal.
    The tomatos you buy today, are hard like apples, almost tasteless. Same with others.
    Garlic smell used to fill the room, now, barely noticed.
    That lead to auto-immune diseases showing up, strange illnesses, obesity, spike in fatal diseases.
    Anyone heard of diseases like Lupus in the 50s?
    Other fatal diseases did exist, but not at this level. There is no end in sight for this. It is intentional.
    Now they are promoting “impossible meat”, and a lot of people eating it, thinking natural meat is harmful and not healthy. Few years later, when a new strange disease or deficiency start showing up, they wonder why.

  22. THIS is the discount price!!! Who is paying all this $$ ?
    PS, Doc said this is for life, you can never stop.

    Subcutaneous Solution
    0.75 mg/0.5 mL
    Trulicity subcutaneous solution
    from $943.05
    for 2 milliliters

  23. @LasVegasBrad – also KETO, high BP; Doctor upset that my BP is now 116/72, heart rate 68 – 72. I think he was shocked that I no longer needed 100mg Atenolol or 5mg Lisinopril. My cholesterol panel ratios are bbetter thn “good;” he doesn’t understand why. Lost 30#, down to 155-160 …32 inch waist.

  24. YES, me also. My blood work dramatically improved. Doc reluctantly took me off all my Meds.
    Are you having a difficult time convincing anyone to go Keto? I find incredible resistance. As soon as you say “No Bread”, their face goes blank.

  25. How were people so effortlessly thin…?

    There’s the answer. Because if people just “live and let live”, we’d all be big as Lizzo. We’re born that way.

    Even the MAPs.

  26. Piggish self-indulgence didn’t show its face until the 80s.
    We became more affluent, more sedentary.

    The average conscript in WWII was considered malnourished (by Army standards) – weighing in about 145 lbs.
    By 2020 we have 10 y/o weighing in at 145 lbs.

    In a similar vein, Napoleon wasn’t considered particularly short for his era – soldiers in the French Army averaged about 5’4″ – about the same as the Roman Legionnaires who conquered Europe.

    mortem tyrannis
    izlamo delenda est …

  27. Type 1 Diabetes runs in my family. I was fortunate not to have that diagnosis, and am currently working to keep from becoming a Type 2.
    I started by cutting all in between meal snacking, then moved to cutting back on all carbs.
    Moved to keto and IF. Now I am looking at doing strict carnivore (while we still have meat available).
    I’m down 53lbs and my drug pusher…uh sorry, Doctor, is shocked.
    They still won’t admit that keto works. If you ever notice the “diet” for diabetics that doctors hand you in your paperwork, it’s developed by Eli Lilly Co. The biggest manufacturers of insulin.
    Gee, I wonder if there might be a little conflict of interest there.

  28. It’s definitely “all of the above”. Can’t go wrong with KETO. The biggest benefit is you just feel better.
    It’s gonna get lots worse. When we were kids we’d play all day. Ride bikes, climb trees, etc. All kids do now days is play on their phones. Zero movement.

  29. @ LasVegasBrad, yes it’s the carbs and more carbs. The sad thing is the ‘heart friendly diet is carb and sugar central. What crap. Aldi has low carb wraps – several varieties. also almond and coconut flour with low carb recipes on the bags. They have a keto friendly bread as well. When I switched to low card higher fat and protein I lost 48 pounds The doc was no happy that I avoided his great advice so I fired him. My current Doc eats low carb and does periodic fasting so he is good w/what I am doing.


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