Serving sizes in your typical American restaurants have frequently pushed the envelope to convey the idea of offering a better deal to their customers, but it’s lately begun to cross the line straight into absurdity. Take a look at your plate next time you eat out – Would that have been a normal portion had you served it up in your own home? As a sign of wealth and abundance, it’s easy to understand the draw for frugal consumers, and the prospect of repeat patronage entices producers to lower their prices, albeit in direct proportion to their quality. Sadly, money tends to be the driving force in decisions that should have more to do with either taste or health, creating a highly economical and addictive sludge that some people call “fast food.” Even if it isn’t purely junk food in question, what point are we trying to prove when a monstrous meal that could stuff a whole team of football players shows up at your table, with you being the sole recipient instead? Some eateries are even becoming known primarily for their outrageous displays of excess, but honestly, is there ever a time that one would need to ingest a burrito the size of your head all in one sitting?
Despite knowing the truth about such compromised but copious “value” meals, sometimes we must make do with what’s available and put ourselves at the mercy of those massive menus and overly-generous servers. Short on time and energy as dinner approached one day, I took just such a gamble and tried to pick up the most edible veggie burger I could find. What was placed in front of me after a brief wait was in sharp contrast to the innocent order I thought I had just placed.
Too thick to even fit in my mouth all together, the towering stack of bread, soy cheese, patty, and veggies dwarfed my bottled condiments as if they were simply misplaced childrens’ toys. Intimidated, I wasn’t sure how to approach such an large veggie burger, but began preparing to disassemble and redress my feast with a nice smear of mustard as per usual. It didn’t take long for me to see that even if I did manage to put it back together, there was no way I would be able to actually take a bite out of it!
As much as my meal seemed immense at first glance, it barely even tipped the scale in comparison to so many other offerings out there these days. In fact, spreading each layer out further, it almost even appeared to be a reasonable amount. Perhaps I was going through denial, wanting only to dig in and forget about what was best for my body, or maybe this is just a standard side-effect of prolonged exposure to America’s steadily inflating eatables. This is in fact a common symptom of what I like to call the Super-Sizing Syndrome. Inability to gauge hunger, insatiable cravings for deep-fried anything, and a lack of will to refuse otherwise unappealing fast food can be other signs of this dreaded ailment if nothing is done in time. Speak to your doctor if you think that you or a loved one might be afflicted, because the longer you wait, the worse it gets.
Despite my hunger, I suddenly just wanted to escape the grease-soaked seat that I occupied in the restaurant, fearing in earnest that the Super-Sizing Syndrome might take me as its next victim before long.
When it comes right down to the fact, it’s ultimately up to one’s own point of view on appropriate helpings, whether those decisions are made by an intoxicated brain, influenced by the Syndrome, or not. It’s all relative after all… I just think I might be happier far away from this unnaturally voluminous fare, where I don’t need to consider the repercussions of polishing off my whole plate.