Food and Drink 

Good grief, it’s gluttony!


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Cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, arthritis, sleep and breathing disorders, depression, and cancer — all are stalking us from the shadows of our gluttonous lifestyle. Surrey Memorial Hospital, for one, has equipped itself with special pulleys and what-nots to handle patients weighing up to 1,000 pounds.

Since we’ve become a more secular society, we’ve pretty much shrugged off the sinful shame surrounding gluttony (with the exception of prejudice against fat people) along with our more spiritual selves. So what’s holding us back?

Not much, I regret to inform you.

According to a new branch of research devoted to understanding human satisfaction, self-discipline and New Year’s resolutions are about all that draw a line in the desert sand between us and a doomed gluttonous future.

It seems we are never satisfied. Give us more, we take it. This was corroborated by a Pennsylvania State University study that showed as portions increased, people simply ate more. Hunger was not something related to stomach size and caloric need. It seems to be something more elastic that can be expanded by merely offering more and bigger portions. Beware the oval restaurant plate!

The fact is, gluttonous binges aside, we are simply eating more. Between 1970 and 1994, individual food intake by Americans increased by an average of 200 calories per day. (Sorry, there doesn’t seem to be any more recent or Canadian-specific information on this trend. Even the Canadian Medical Association Journal cites this data.)

So like my friend said, never mind the holidays. We’re chronically feeding our insatiable appetites in ways that would have Pope Gregory and the hermits rolling over in their skinny little graves.

Happy New Year! Have fun wrestling your gluttonous demons to the ground — and if you find a gym with a discount, let me know.


Glenda Bartosh is an award-winning freelance writer who just tied the knot on a bag of truffles. Contact her at

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