Our time on the sofa (and the commute) is the problemby Melanie Luhrmann / October 10, 2017 / Leave a comment
Published in November 2017 issue of Prospect Magazine
Smaller plates, bigger bellies
The average Brit was well over 10 per cent heavier in 2013 than the average Brit in 1980. Yet the number of calories we’re purchasing is down—by nearly a fifth. We’re still estimated to chuck away over a tenth of what we buy, and so must be actually eating less.
So why are we getting fat? It’s not junk food. Although we consume more sweets and soft drinks than a generation ago, the share of our calories coming from fats, sugary products like jam and meat has sunk.
Meanwhile, the proportion of calories coming from fish and fruit & veg has risen.
Sofas: the new smoking?
So what’s going on? If you fatten up while eating less, you must be using less energy.
The share of the male workforce doing more strenuous jobs fell by 17 per cent between 1983 and 2005. Women’s paid work became somewhat less strenuous too, but the picture is mixed since they’re doing an extra eight hours weekly.
More significant for them is a drop-off of nearly seven hours in the time spent on housework, one men have failed to redress—they spend only 20 minutes more on chores, and presumably look to machines and paid cleaners to pick up the slack.
Men and women alike are commuting more, and spending nearly three extra hours a week in bed….