Woodstock

ali

> 1k Posts
The big picture | From the Observer | The Guardian

The above link takes you to a photograph from the Woodstock festival 50 years ago today.
It's quite striking to see the typical shape and physicality of young 20 something's off their faces on acid just prior to the proliferation of fast food in the next decade.
I saw it in print from an actual newspaper so the impact may be lost somewhat.
Unless of course the guys doing the climbing all happened to be from a circus, I doubt very few festival goers of today selected at random could climb with such apparent ease. And if they did, the scaffold would collapse.
 

LukeV

More than 300 posts
Whether caused by fast food or something else the tripling of the obesity rate across that 50 year period is really disturbing and this photo is a great way of highlighting it. Thanks for posting
 

Steve W.

> 1k Posts
Unless of course the guys doing the climbing all happened to be from a circus, I doubt very few festival goers of today selected at random could climb with such apparent ease.
But these guys weren't selected at random. They were ones who selected themselves to scale a giant scaffold.

If this happened today, I'd wager that the ones on the scaffold would be the buff Crossfitters, wiry rock climbers, and wannabe Ninja Warriors, and the obese dudes would be munching their nachos on the ground.

Just saying...
 

ali

> 1k Posts
haha...I know probably. Thing is they wouldn't be allowed as some jobsworth will stop them due to health and safety fears!
Thing is though, 1969, off your head at a festival when fitness pursuits weren't a thing, just a bunch of random average guys messing about. That was what average looked like back then and that was what messing about meant, climbing stuff and dicking about because they could.
Unless they all happened to be sailors on leave from rigging the sails, of course!
 

Tarzan

More than 500 posts
I notice a similar thing when I see footage of sports from the seventies & right up to the early 80's, sports people in general were much leaner. You always had big guys in the specialist positions but most of the rest of the team were very lean by today's standards.

Coincidentally in Australia that's when we started to get all the fear mongering around saturated fat and our government started advising fast food restaurants switch to using vegetable oils and everything on supermarket shelves started using it because it was purported to be healthier. They use vegetable oil to fatten cattle because it's a cheap easy way to make them gain weight, some of the early work started with using coconut oil but it didn't work and the cattle stayed lean but vegetable oil worked a treat. I can't say for sure it has the same sort of conversion rate in humans as I've never seen any studies on it, but I suspect that's playing a role.

The sugar lobby hadn't ramped up their aggressive marketing campaigns in the 70's that much either and food in general just had less sugar in it. The fast food joints started pushing their up-size meals really hard around then too and people began to see bigger meals as normal. Collectively most westerners guzzle more calories than we used to back then. I get a laugh when I see a 5'10" 230lb kid guzzling energy drinks, if anything they need less energy not 5 or 6 sugar shots each day.

Then there's steroids and growth hormones etc , I look at some younger guys these days and I can't help but wonder if it's natural or if they'd had a bit of pharmaceutical help.
 
Whether caused by fast food or something else the tripling of the obesity rate across that 50 year period is really disturbing and this photo is a great way of highlighting it. Thanks for posting
They've actually tripled in the last 30 years. Despite all the nutritional admonoishments against fat and sugar, and macro reductions in much of the population (according to polls) the march goes on.

Could it be nothing more than structural inactivity?
 

Tarzan

More than 500 posts
Could it be nothing more than structural inactivity?
Google, start the vacuum cleaner, order that pizza I had last week, cue yesterday's playlist and dim the lights.

You could be onto something :)

I won't have one of those things in my house but hasn't the world changed in the last 50 years. Now we can just click a button or say a few words and objects materialize on our doorsteps. I remember when if you wanted something you had to get of your a#@ and go out and get it. Now it appears like magic.
 

LukeV

More than 300 posts
Could it be nothing more than structural inactivity?
As I understand the studies overweight people do eat more and exercise less but they start eating more and exercising less before they get overweight so while exercise and eating is the "what" there is still a "why" to be answered.

So most overweight people can look back to a time when they were not overweight and ask, "what happened?" and we know the answer to that. They started eating more and exercising less. But we still don't really know why.

And simple answers like ready availability of food, lack of seasonal variation due to globalisation, increased fat, increased carbohydrate, increased sugar etc don't explain why obesity is coming from different bases and increasing at different rates. I mean even French women are getting fat *sigh* just at a slower rate (than some).
 
As I understand the studies overweight people do eat more and exercise less but they start eating more and exercising less before they get overweight so while exercise and eating is the "what" there is still a "why" to be answered.

So most overweight people can look back to a time when they were not overweight and ask, "what happened?" and we know the answer to that. They started eating more and exercising less. But we still don't really know why.

And simple answers like ready availability of food, lack of seasonal variation due to globalisation, increased fat, increased carbohydrate, increased sugar etc don't explain why obesity is coming from different bases and increasing at different rates. I mean even French women are getting fat *sigh* just at a slower rate (than some).
I'm currently on vacation at Virginia Beach, believe me a lot of these kids won't ever remember a time when they were in good physical condition.

Edit to add: it was actually notable (to me), my son's swim club 6th graders to 10th, every single kid in very lean shape from 11yr olds to 15 or so. An otherwise very diverse group ethnically, etc.

I've mentioned it before, but kids these days are like little adults, if they don't work at fitness they don't have it. Spontaneous fitness/activity is a fraction of what it used to be.

As a kid, my diet was crap but my activity levels were nonstop.
 
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Denny Phillips

Triple-Digit Post Count
First off, great observation ali.

I love watching "Woodstock"...the Movie since apparently I was one of the few that wasn't there. Despite that I never noticed the leanness thing. It occurs to me that while cocaine wasn't in vogue yet there were plenty of amphetamines to go around. That still doesn't explain the lean factor, I suspect that an appreciable number of people were on crank during the festival but I doubt that there were that many speed freaks in daily life. In my region there were a lot of concerts/festivals in the 70's and I attended a vast number of them. There were beer vendors but everything else was supplied by the crowd if you get my drift. There were some career beer bellies at the shows but still a large amount of lean people as well.

Each poster has hit on a factor that has led to our present plight. I recall when wired remote controls came about one of my thoughts was that one more reason to get off the couch has been removed. In retrospect there was more to that realization than I could have possibly imagined at the time.

North Coast Miller has a great point. During my childhood and adolescence our time was filled with pick-up baseball, football, and basketball. Living on Lake Erie saw us in the drink constantly. During the winter we would shovel off a makeshift hockey rink and play until spent. Athletic participation and preparation dovetailed into an adult life where it never occurred to me not to remain active. How often do you see pick-up games nowadays? I see them in less affluent communities but not in the typical middle class communities.

I also relate to his comment on diet. I believe that I single-handedly kept Dinty Moore Beef Stew in business back then. On nights of home football games I would go to the local Dairy Queen and consume a monstrous milk shake because I was too keyed up to eat much more. Afterwards we would avail ourselves to one of the few fast food places in our town of 70,000, that being McD's, Burger Chef (a moment of silence, please) or Burger King mostly because they were the only places still open.

My grandmother went from the horse and buggy era to man landing on the moon to the space shuttle prior to her passing. Things changed quickly and monumentally. We have seen great change as well but it seems as though those changes were absorbed in a subtler way. When it comes to physical culture the changes have also been profound yet seem as though they snuck up on us.
 

ali

> 1k Posts
Spontaneous fitness/activity is a fraction of what it used to be.
Definitely

Afterwards we would avail ourselves to one of the few fast food places in our town of 70,000, that being McD's, Burger Chef
Both are complicit to the rise in obesity surely but within more complex social and behavioural models too.
In the UK I remember my first 'fast food' meal....a wimpy burger, I was 12/13....so mid 70s. It was very exotic, meat in a roll with thin chips, it had a novelty factor that's for sure. Not renowned for cuisine over these parts, upto that point a take away option was fish and chips, or chips and fish (chips being french fries but thick doorsteps fried in lard). Then it all went pear-shaped....
Fortunately fish and chips have stood the test of time.
Traditional chippies still cook with either lard or beef dripping. Yum yum.
My local...freshly caught from the north sea, chips in beef dripping, pickled egg and beans.
That v McD, KFC, Subway, Burger King....problem is people have both at the same time. For breakfast.
 
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