Flip Wilson, a comedian from the 60s (I think it was that long ago), had a favorite phrase that made audiences roar with laughter, "The devil made me do it". I sometimes think that is how we Americans are trying to take the onus off ourselves for our abundant weight--Blaming our eating habits on uncontrollable external forces instead of owning up to the responsibility.
Here are just a few of the excuses I've read about recently:
1. Restaurant portions are too large. (So. What's your point? If we ate intuitively, we'd still stop when we were satisfied and save the rest for later.)
2. Stress. (Are our lives more stressful than the bushmen's lives? Or the lives of Neanderthal man?)
3. Weight has gone up steadily since high fructose corn syrup has become ubiquitous in our food supply. (I've read the literature. I'm not sure how much influence HFC has had on our health but we shouldn't be eating those foods in great quantities anyway.)
4. We aren't an agrarian society anymore. (Hello? I do notice that farmers are pretty fat nowadays also so I don't think that excuse works.)
Those are just a few of the excuses. I haven't used any of them but the media uses them to explain our ever expanding waist lines.
What do you think? Individual responsibility. Eat until you feel satisfied and it won't matter how big the portion is. Breathe deeply and perhaps exercise because not only does it reduce stress but it also burns calories. It's okay to have HFC foods once in a while but they're not "whole" foods and those are the kinds of foods that should comprise the majority of our diet anyway. Yeah, we sit in front of the TV and we drive every place. But I notice that people who take the bus and walk and work long hours so they can't be sitting in front of the TV vegging out seem to be pretty hefty also.
Eat until you've had enough. Choose whole foods whenever possible. Exercise more. And stop blaming.