I was watching Super Size me on Netflix the other day, and I was suddenly struck by how different people in the UK and the US eat. Yes, the UK has fast food. Won’t disagree there, and they even have this thing called chippies that are like local fast food restaurants that serve fish and chips/fries or kebabs and all sorts of other unhealthy things. But even including those chippies, the difference in how people eat astounds me!
I thought I was fairly healthy in America. I enjoyed salads, ate fresh meat, had some veggies and fruit, and my house didn’t even have a microwave. So I thought that I was healthy. Then I moved to the UK. And it recently struck me how different I am here. I still don’t microwave. And I still eat lots of healthy food, but the biggest difference is how much I eat out. I will go out to a proper pub restaurant or something about once a week with friends. And will order pizza probably once a week. But that is it. I eat McDonalds or KFC less than once a month! In fact, I have eaten that type of fast food less than 10 times since moving to England!
In America, because I worked three jobs all over the place, I would go through a drive-thru at least 2-3 times a week! And I thought that was still a fairly low amount. In the US it is, but in England, I couldn’t imagine eating out that much!
I’m going to attribute the lack of fast food consumption to the fact that I don’t drive everywhere in my car, and fast food simply isn’t convenient for me. It takes more effort for me to get to a McDonalds than it does for me to walk to the grocery store and pick up meal I can cook. When fast food requires effort, I simply don’t bother.
People are always talking about how fat the US is, and I largely attribute that to convenience and distance. We have large amounts of land, that allows us to spread everything out, but also have lots of space for fast food. So on the way to a grocery store, I could easily pass 5 fast food places. And fast food is quicker and cheaper to eat. So people go with that.
I don’t blame them. I can honesty say that I really miss American fast food. Taco Bell, Wendy’s and Arby’s especially! They have nothing similar here. Even when I do go to a fast food place, it never has quite the same satisfactory fatty taste as in the US. Maybe I am just sentimental for my homeland type of cuisine. And I am probably insane for saying I miss US fast food, but I DO! However, I am grateful for my new healthier diet. I have definitely slimmed down, I went from a size 3/4 in the US to a size 0/2 in the UK. Still….wouldn’t mind a Arby’s mocha shake and curly fries right now….