Somebody mentioned the fifties earlier. Born in 1947, I remember a bit about the fifties. We had sugar, we had fat. Fish and chips were cooked in lard, so were your roast potatoes and Yorkshire pudding. We ate bread and dripping, or "mucky fat" if you're from West Yorkshire. Milk was just that, milk; pasteurised (in the towns, at least) but proper milk where you got a couple of inches of cream in the neck of the bottle. If you were posh you could get "gold top" Jersey milk, which had more cream. I suppose there must have been skimmed milk, because we had cream, but I don't remember people using it, maybe it went into factory-produced food, or the pigs got it. There was mayonnaise if you were posh, or salad cream for the rest of us.
What you couldn't do was pick up the phone and order a double-monsterburger with bacon and extra cheese on your credit card for delivery.
Several reasons for that; you didn't have a phone, or a credit card. The double-monsterburger hadn't hit these benighted shores from The Land of the Fat, and cars were the plaything of the well-to-do, not somebody looking for a bit of a cash-in-hand sideline delivering pizza.
And I think that's the major difference between the fifties and now. In the fifties, it wasn't mainstream for person with a sedentary lifestyle to eat at one sitting enough food to feed a family of four. Now it is mainstream to do more or less that. I can't tell you why, but its mainstream all right. Stuff like pizza, burgers, Chinese takeaway are all sold in staggeringly large "portion" sizes. Maybe its a way of the customer "getting his money's worth" or have I been in Yorkshire too long? But its just a "normal" thing to do. You can call it an "addiction" if you like, just as I can call it gluttony if I like, but neither of these is helping anybody. And it certainly isn't my fault if somebody wants to eat themselves into an early grave, although I have no doubt that the taxpayer will be expected to fund ever stranger "treatments" while a working man has to wait months for a hernia repair.
Social change causing odd dietary blips isn't new. The Temperance Movement caused widespread energy malnutrition in agricultural labourers. At a time when farm work was heavy manual labour and the pay and therefore diet wasn't good, the energy in beer was needed to balance input and output, and substituting tea robbed the workers of essential calories.
Long ago I heard a talk given by a man who had coined the term "muesli-belt malnutrition" . This described malnutrition in young children of educated, well-meaning people who applied their own low-fat, low-energy diet to their kids.
It seems to me that eating in the human specie is pretty far removed from providing our bodies with what the body needs; but balancing input and output isn't hard, is it?