There's no doubt that one of the most significant drivers of societal weight gain over the decades has been our increasing reliance on eating foods prepared outside of our homes. Couple more frequent meals out with larger portions and certainly that's a recipe for gain for anyone, but an even more dangerous recipe for anyone with an impaired calorie burning ability.
What I mean is that if two folks sit down at a restaurant to eat together, regardless of the differences between those two folks, if they order the same meal, they'll get the same meal. Sedentary 5ft tall middle aged mom with fibromyalgia sitting down to eat with her 6ft 2in College football linebacker son - same order, same meal.
But what if one of those folks burns fewer calories?
There are a great many reasons for someone to burn smaller numbers of calories. Among the most common of those would be advanced age, medications that impair metabolisms, and of course, vertical challenge.
It's a phenomenon that also plays out in households sometimes. I remember somewhere near to when my wife and I were married and she gained a small amount of weight. I wasn't involved in nutrition or weight management at the time, and I only had the most rudimentary understanding of things, but I figured that the crux of the matter was my wife was matching my portions. She told me that she felt she deserved to eat as much as I did, and while I certainly didn't disagree (I've always known better than to ever do that), the simplest way to put it was that yes, she could eat as much as me, but given that the amount of food I was eating supported my weight, my guess was that if she ate the same amount as me, eventually she'd weigh the same too....and I've got quite a few inches of height on her.
At the end of the day, folks with reasons to burn fewer calories, if they're concerned about their weights, understanding and calorie awareness becomes that much more important, as does minimizing meals out because after all, there are no signs on the menu reading,
"You must be this tall to order this meal."(photo by Flickr's Futurowoman)