... Something changed between that generation and mine.
Processed food and factory/chemical "food" ... HFCS and preservatives and artificial flavours ...
My grandfather's generation grew up on farms where they grew their own food and bought local produce that they didn't grow.
The interstate highway system ('60's) opened up shipping, technologies were developed to make food survive shipping, monocultures of shipping tolerant crops were developed, and the food giants like Monsanto began ...
We are lucky to be in an area with local farms growing organic crops, raising organic livestock, and so we are able to keep a lot of the chemical additives out of our diet. We pay more for it, and are happy to do so because the food tastes better.
Personally I think a lot of the obesity and increased incidence of diabetes and allergies can be traced back to the changes in the food provided by big ag and the big food companies.
It probably has more to do with the invention of the refrigerator and the television set.
I just look at the labels of processed food, and see a lot of chemicals that are added - things that were never in our previous diet.
Example: if I drink milk mixed with Hershey's instant chocolate I break out in an itchy rash on my chest, but if I use Nestles instant chocolate nothing happens. The chocolate is the same (and I can eat Hershey's chocolate bars with no effect), the sugar is the same ...
Now I agree that this is anecdotal and not objective evidence, however it raises my suspicions.
This is one reason I avoid processed food as much as possible. This is also a reason I would like to see ever single ingredient labelled.
I went all out for fat once I discovered the Atkins diet and lost weight on it. ...
I went from 210 to 180. 200 is my break point to go back (actually it is belt size, which is actually a better measure than weight because muscle = 2+ fat for weight but not for waist). f I cut out bread, added sugars of all kinds, starch (sigh pasta) and all processed foods.
This year the garden has done very well for us (grocery bill dropped over $50/week) with fresh organic produce.
Personally I think processed food is the biggest evil foisted on the american public and that all the chemical additives are responsible for all sorts of diseases from allergies to diabetes.