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Been thinking..Are we craving more sweet food...

Its something I've been thinking about. Do we as a society crave more sweet things than say 10, 20, 30 or longer years ago? I mean our grandparents tended not to be fat like we as a nation are today. Why is this? I wonder is it really down to the fact that we've all got a sweeter tooth today or that food is more easily available? Even strawberries are bread to be sweeter? So many questions, and not enough answers....answers on a postcard please!
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Yes I think we do have more of a taste for the bad stuff. But the real addiction we are bred to is msg and other additives. I was brought up only being allowed chocolate on a Friday and that was ONLY if my nan bought it for us and we weren't allowed to ask for it. Had we never tasted it we'd never have wanted it. Same with crisps and sweets. you can't crave something you've never had, like smoking.
That sounds like a good idea...I only let my kids have a biscuit or a sweet when they get in from school and only if they've been good. Maybe I should try and change this to once a week - they are young enough to change. If they're not eating the rubbish, I guess I'll be less likey to as well.
When I cook for the family, which is everyday, I never use packaged stuff, (apart for myself at the moment - Go Lower supply all my food) but the kids dont get any preservatives or additives except in their biscuits or sweets. I make all my food from scratch, yet my daughter particularly loves sweet food (she is 6) and my son (who is 3) doesn't like chocolate! wish I had that problem!! its interseting that my daughter loves it all and yet doesn't have loads of it and yet my son is offered the same and would prefer to eat a punnet of blueberries all to himself!
Some of it will be down to the availability there is now. Our parents and grandparents who lived through the war had them rationed. My mum was a little girl then and I'm sure she said her ration was something like 2oz sweets per week. They were the last thing to be on ration, I think they were rationed up to the 1950's - perhaps somebody else knows?

I think you could be right tarotwoman, it's probably down to rationing or the lack of it nowadays.
My hubby and I think that 'they' should make it easier to go to the supermarket and buy healthy food. I mean you walk round tesco, or wherever, and you can buy a 2 x 12 pack of crisps for about £2.99 or a bogof or some other deal. Well, 24 packs of crisps would last over 2 weeks in my house, probably more like a month. Then you go to the fruit and veg section and you can buy 2 punnets of blueberries for £2.99 and they are eaten in my house within 4 days and that's if I'm lucky. The healthy food is sooo much more expensive, and yet all the snacks and treats are chepaer and last longer in my house. I wish they would swap it round..the price of fruit and veg to come right down and the price of crisps, biscuits etc to go up. Then I would have a biscuit as a treat and not as the norm that we have all become to know, and then loosing the weight would just be easier -it would be too expensive to eat bad food, especially at the moment with money being soo tight for everyone.
As far as the weight thing goes, I do think it's a lot to do with things like rationing, as someone else said. Also, consider all the labour-saving devices we have nowadays. When I was a kid, my mum washed our clothes in a twin tub, which was a lot more labour-intensive than a modern washing machine, for example. Other things could be, no supermarkets until something like the mid-fifties, so shopping would be done locally, on foot and more often. Another thing that springs to mind... 'Dig for Victory'. During the Second World War, people were encouraged to grown their own fruit and veg which of course equalled lots of exercise and a healthy diet.

I think there was just as much craving for sweet things etc in the War, for example, otherwise the American GIs would have gone out of business :D.

So, perhaps it's all down to everything being so much more accessible these days.
I think you're right about the still craving sweet things in the past. When I was little I would have loved to have had the biscuits, cakes and crisps they have now but they were so expensive then (1960'). If I was hungry after school I had a jam butty or a buttered crust until my tea was ready.

My mum would have looked at me as if I was mad if I'd asked for anything else. I remember being jealous of one friend whose mum used to buy her a bar of chocolate every Thursday when she did the shopping and that was only once a week.

30 years ago, the price of sugar was double what it is now, without taking into account inflation. So sugary treats are less expensive. However, I have this theory that people are getting bigger because... other people are getting bigger. I'm sure that being around fat people all day has an effect on someone, just the same as being around skinny people all day has an effect on people.
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Just reading through and I am not sure how we crave sugar as my two boys have been bought up on the same diet and yet one has a much sweeter tooth than the other.

I only allow them to have chocolate at parties, (I don't want them to end up like me!) and they do not have snacks in between meals as a rule and if they do I try to only give them healthy snacks.

The youngest, aged 3, who has the sweet tooth would eat fruit, of pretty much any type, all day long if offered yet he is the one whose weight I am keeping an eye on.

I guess you saying they are making fruit taste sweeter must have had an impact on him, but then he also likes apples, bananas etc and I don't find they taste sweet at all, or have I just got so used to them over the years my tatse buds can't always tell me anymore what is sweet and what isn't!
I think you are right tarotwoman. If everyone around you is saying no to the biscuit, I also say no, but if they say yes, I tend to say yes. Maybe I need to hang around thin people more or will they eat and make me feel guilty for eating, so maybe I should get more fat friends and then we can all be miserable together stuffing our faces, or all say no together - not sure which way would work!
Seriously though, I'm begining to think that we dont have a sweeter tooth than we did years ago, sweet food is just easily available and in general inexpensive. Its food for thought!
I am not sure about the logic of sweet food being more easily available as post war my mum had access to a sweet shop and yet she never had a weight problem and certainly not a major sweet tooth like I have. (She tells me she used to push me along in the pram wearing hot pants! We are talking the early 70's though!)

I know what you mean about doing what everyone around you do as it is so easy when you are following others, be that to say yes or no to that biscuit.
I think the problem is I and society just like sweet food and because we can get it easily we tend to eat it. Perhaps not at the moment, but I come from a generation with a disposable income and so food, especially food that is a treat became the norm, rather than being just a treat. A friend was telling me the other day, she has a star chart at home for her kids. If they get 4 out of 7 stars over the week, on a Friday, the kids get a food related treat. They dont get food treats the rest of the week. She said the kids behaviour has improved and their diet - a small cake, a sweet whatever, but instead of having it everyday, they have it once a week. Maybe that's where I go wrong - I should do my own star chart and for good behaviour get a treat - just once a week, not everyday - it may help with my sweet tooth - may give this a go. Will keep you posted.
Sounds like a good idea doing a star chart for ourselves, I just don't know if I would be tempeted to cheat.

Knowing me I would probably not go for a food related treat, it would be something I want to buy and I would probably still buy it anyway if it is something I want.
Still not made the star chart - not quite sure how approach the subject with my kids...I hear the conversation going something like: "When mummy's good, she will get a gold star, but when she's naughty, she won't. If I get 4 or more stars in a week, I get to have a treat.." Kids will think I've gone mad!!!

I think so generally speaking yes. Kids are brought up on the sweeter tasting, artificial full food. I watched a program recently sampling three different generations of diets. One from the 60's, one from the 70's and one from the 80's. Was quite interesting to see the diets of those kind of times and the effect that they had on society. Was obesity such a big problem back then when diets were so natural and simple?
I can see the problem you may have with your star chart and the kids..... What about keeping track in your diary or something, where it is not seen by the kids, or does that defeat the object for you?

Choice...... if we didn't have it now we would complain because it is something we are so used to.
For me I need to see something like a star chart, so I can remember how I'm doing. I'm quite a visual person, so a chart stuck to the fridge would be helpful, but think would make me look to daft in front of the kids. A food diary hidden away, may not be as good, but I guess is better than nothing. I think I'll give that a try.

I think your right, suzyK, we would complain if our choice was taken away from us. We humans are never happy!

Can you put the star chart inside your wardrobe or something? That way you get to see it, but the kids don't.

Yes, we do expect a lot now don't we? Why? It was only a couple of generations ago when we didn't have any labour saving devices etc and now look at us!