America's Obsession With Supersize-ation
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

America's Obsession With Supersize-ation

The next time you get that third refill of Coke in your 30oz cup, appreciate your ability to do so.

95
America's Obsession With Supersize-ation
NBC

Whenever I ask Americans how they think the rest of the world perceives them, I'm greeted with a symphony of patriotic zeal, “Free!”, “Number One!”, “Invincible!” However, when I ask them to elaborate with a description of the average American citizen, I’m met with a nervous chuckle and an under-the-breath murmur of, "Probably fat."

Now, this article is not to meant to be a British rebuttal a-la 1776 nor a commentary on the global pandemic of obesity. It is simply an observation of one continent/culture to another.

A fascinating video by Buzzfeed (I know, I know, you don’t need to lecture me on their journalistic standards, or lack thereof) from 2014 showcases the difference in size between McDonald’s cup sizes around the world. The United States’ version of small, medium, and large is 16oz, 21oz, and 30oz respectively. Compare this to Japan where the large cup is a measly 20oz, meaning a U.S. medium would overflow a Japanese large, and you begin to see the issue.

Using global fast-food chain sizes as a barometer of ‘American supersize-ation’ is a simple quantitative (numerical) method but there are qualitative (non-numerical) aspects too. These range from lifted pickup trucks with their giant tires to massive cowboy hats. I’m no sociologist but if I were to guesstimate at the origins of the American fixation on the large it would be immediately post-WWII. The 1950s are categorized as the birth of American consumerism when America dominated the global economy and witnessed a miniature golden age.

One argument I’ve heard is that America’s continental size and economic supremacy encourages her people to enlarge. My counter would be China, Russia, and Japan.

Russia’s total area in square miles is nearly double that of America’s yet the only supersizing in Russia is done to its nukes and Putin’s ego. Likewise, in China which has a comparable land mass to the US, the only supersizing occurring is to their islands in the South China sea and Xi Jinping’s centralized power. That, however, is beginning to change with China’s increasing access to Western culture and its continued economic rise.

Japan was once touted as America’s economic successor. While the Japanese may have “slipped on their sushi roll” as my world politics professor described their recent economic stagnation, they never turned to supersize-ation, even during their economic heyday. Considering this is the nation that was renowned for its territorial supersize-ation during the first half of the twentieth century, it’s quite remarkable.

So far my article has had a slightly negative slant towards America’s proclivity to oversized everything but there are positives too. For one thing, it’s awesome to get 30oz of any type of soda for $1.49 plus those free refills. Now that’s what I call American ingenuity. In Europe, free refills are the stuff of legend, kind of like leprechauns, the Loch Ness monster, and wherever Queen Elizabeth, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Bernie Sanders are hiding the Fountain of Youth. Also, bigger things are just cooler. I mean would you rather drive a Fiat or a monster truck? Exactly.

I think it’s important for all Americans to realize how lucky we are to live where we do, how we have access to things and institutions that others can only dream of. Just think of the people who risk everything they hold dear, which can sometimes fit inside a single backpack, just to stand where we do. The next time you get that third refill of Coke in your 30oz cup, appreciate your ability to do so. And also ask yourself if you really need 90oz of high-fructose corn syrup.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Featured

Haunted Houses For Halloween In New Jersey

The Top Scariest Haunted Houses In New Jersey

13885

Residing in New Jersey enables you to participate in various activities, and everyone has a favorite. In New Jersey, Halloween is also celebrated in a spooky way. There are many scariest haunted houses in NJ to celebrate Halloween. If you want to confront your greatest fears, Halloween Scariest haunted houses are ideal.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Leaving My Backpack In The Library

Views about society and the stranger sitting right across from me

56875
https://unsplash.com/photos/O0T1SIgHAfM

As a college student, my backpack is an extension of myself in many ways. It contains my notes, pens, and computer vital for my success in college. It contains the snacks and water bottle I need to survive long days on campus. It also contains the "in-case" items that help put my mind at rest if I forgot something from home: extra hair ties, masks, and that backup-backup snack. With so much in my backpack important to me and my life on campus, it is no wonder that I can get apprehensive about it when it is not with me or in my line of sight. And that makes me wonder.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

5 Cool Gadgets To Make Your Car Smart

Don't let this stop you from making your car smart. You can change the one you have using smart gadgets that transform your car into a smart car.

112565

Cars are no longer just a mode of transport, where you only worry about the engine and how beautiful its interior is. These days, everyone wants to make their cars smarter, those with advanced technology systems. It makes sense for several reasons. It can make your vehicle more efficient and safer when you need to drive.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

The Inevitable Truth of Loss

You're going to be okay.

131300

As we humans face loss and grief on a daily basis, it's challenging to see the good in all the change. Here's a better perspective on how we can deal with this inevitable feeling and why it could help us grow.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

'Venom: Let There Be Carnage' Film Review

Tom Hardy and Woody Harrelson lead a tigher, more fun sequel to 2018's 'Venom'

106007
Photo Credit: Sony Pictures Entertainment – YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-FmWuCgJmxo

When Sony announced that Venom would be getting a stand-alone movie, outside of the Tom Holland MCU Spider-Man films, and intended to start its own separate shared universe of films, the reactions were generally not that kind. Even if Tom Hardy was going to take on the role, why would you take Venom, so intrinsically connected to Spider-Man's comic book roots, and remove all of that for cheap action spectacle?

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments