Everything’s bigger in America
You could look it up!
T HE TOTAL U .S. FOOD SUPPLY PROVIDES 500 MORE CALORIES PER DAY PER PERSON THAN IT DID IN THE 1970s, AN INCREASE OF 24 PERCENT, ACCORDING TO THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE.
In the 1960s, the average chicken at slaughter weighed about three and a half pounds; by the mid-1990s, it had gained a pound. In 1966, a commercial cow at slaughter averaged 1.011 pounds; by 2006, it weighed 25 percent more, or 1,275 pounds.
In fast-food restaurants, portions are two to five times larger today than in the 1980s.
In the 1964 edition of The Joy of Cooking, a recipe for chocolate chip cookies was said to yield 45 servings. In the 1997 edition the same recipe was said to yield only 36 servings.
According to the latest federal health statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention the average adult weighed nearly 10% more in 2003 than in the 1980s. Males grew from 168 to 180 pounds, females from 142 to 152.
Over roughly the same period, the average 5`year-old boy gained 9 percent in weight, rising from 43 pounds to 47. The average 5-year-old girl gained 7 percent, rising from 42 pounds to 45.
In the National Football League, the average weight for players rose 10 percent from 1983 to 2006, to 248 pounds. In 1976, three NFL players weighed more than 300 pounds; in 2006, that number was 570, or one in five players.
The International Journal of Obesity totaled 509 pages in 1993, its first year. In 2006, it filled 2,322 pages.
In the past ten years, the standard movie seat has grown more than 10 percent, from 19 to 22 inches wide, according to Irwin Seating of Grand Rapids, Michigan.
The Casket & Funeral Supply Association of America reports that standard caskets have grown from about 22 inches wide in the 1970s to 26 inches today
The average TV screen is growing at the rate of one inch per year, the Consumer Electronics Association reports; the 2006 average was 27 inches. Today, U.S. households watch TV for an average of 8 hours and 11 minutes a day, up from 6 hours and 45 minutes in 1980, according to Nielsen Media Research.
From 1996 to 2006 , the average motor vehicle made in the United States gained 500 pounds, reaching 4,142 pounds, mostly because of bigger engines and more options.
In 1991, some 10 percent of new houses came with a three-car garage, says the National Association of Home Builders. That number doubled by 2005.
In 1950, the average new house provided 290 square feet per family member, reports the Journal of Industrial Ecology. By 2003, that number had tripled , to 893 square feet per family member.
Since 1980, the standard refrigerator has expanded 10 percent, to 22 cubic feet, and the standard clothes washer 25 percent, to 3 cubic feet, says the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers.
The first Wal-Mart, which opened in 1962 in Rogers, Arkansas, was 16,000 square feet. Today, there are 1,238 Wal-Mart Super-centers in the United States, and each one is 100,000 to 220,000 square feet.
The Energy Information Administration reported in 2006 that the average American produces 4.5 pounds of solid waste per day (including such things as paper, containers, food and lawn clippings), a 150 percent increase since 1960.
When the National Association of Professional Organizers (people hired to organize personal belongings) was founded in 1985, it had five members. It now has 4,000.
Overstuffed Americans increasingly exercise another option: the Self-Storage Association says the number of self-storage facilities in the United States has increased ninefold since 1984, from 6,601 to 59,657.
Compiled by: Jess Blumberg,
Katy June-Friesen and David
September 2007. (Pg. 128)
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