When did people get so big?? Observations from the grocery store.

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by Turtle Flower

For whatever reason I really noticed it yesterday morning at the grocery store. The people were huge, not just overweight, but tall. I am an over 50 woman and stand at about five feet tall with a medium build.

When I was in high school 80-83 it seemed the tallest girls were about 5’7” or 8” and I remember my friend on the boys basketball team was the tallest at 6’4”. There were only a few overweight kids, and they weren’t obese, but chubby. I went to school in what would be considered rural SC and our school was about 60% white to 40% black (as an aside, there were no racial issues at all as I remember it and everyone got along).

I first noticed super big people about 10 years ago on a visit home while in a bar. The bar was full of what looked to be college kids and as I was trying to leave a girl stood up in front of me and all I saw was her butt. She must have been 7’ feet tall, and she was big. I was shocked, so much so, I still remember it. I felt bad for her, actually, and imagined it had to be uncomfortable as she kind of lumbered out in front of me.

So yesterday morning we’re in the city doing our shopping at Kroger, we’re mostly there for produce and dairy and a few odds and ends, and the store is busy. It was one of those days where it seems everyone is blocking the aisles or standing in front of what I need, and the energy felt rushed, like there wasn’t enough for everyone. Approaching the diary section I was cut off by a tall, obese woman with a huge buggy (shopping cart) and stopped and stared, every person in the diary section was huge, like over 6 feet tall and fat. The women were big, the men were bigger, and the children were well on their way to being bigger than their parents. What in the hell?

Being small has its advantages and I slithered in and retrieved the butter (not margarine) I was seeking, and we got out of there as fast as possible. Hubby and I talked about it on the way home, reminiscing of what we remembered from our youth and how people have changed. He went to school in New England and said there was only one fat kid in his high school.

Now everywhere you look you see giant people, not just overweight, but tall. I don’t recall ever being aware of my small stature until the last decade, and at 5’1” there were shorter people than me in my dealings, but now I rarely see them and when I do they are older.

It’s easy to see that we are evolving to be bigger, looking at uniforms and dresses from the civil war era shows they we have gotten larger, and even looking at sewing patterns from the 1960s show that women have gotten bigger. I wonder how much of that is a natural event, and how much is from the bad food, water, and prescriptions.

The people I saw yesterday are not healthy, and it was funny, or scary, that I saw one average sized person and she stood out. The young woman of a normal size stood out because she was the only one in the store who looked healthy.

 

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