Why are more women getting fat? It’s because of men, isn’t it?

PUBLISHED: 11:41 03 May 2019 | UPDATED: 11:41 03 May 2019

We're taught to clear our plates which means we are constantly eating more than we should, says Brittany Creasey. Why can't portion sizes suit our needs, rather than a man's? Photo: Getty

We're taught to clear our plates which means we are constantly eating more than we should, says Brittany Creasey. Why can't portion sizes suit our needs, rather than a man's? Photo: Getty


Well, a male-dominated world, anyway! Brittany Creasey says women don’t have a fair chance when it comes to food - because all the portions are male-sized...

Would you pick the plate on the right if you could? Photo: Getty ImagesWould you pick the plate on the right if you could? Photo: Getty Images

I can eat as much as my partner. He is over a foot taller and three stone heavier than me, but I can chow down an entire stuffed crust pizza just the same as him.

But that doesn't mean that I should.

We live in a mostly male-dominated world where cars, phones, furniture and meals are all ergonomically designed to suit a male frame. It's been proven that while women are less likely to cause a car crash, they are more likely to die from one. This is because cars are not designed for our body types.

Meal sizes in this country have become obscene; the average plate size has grown from 25cm to 28cm since the 1950's. The majority of restaurants and super markets are catering to male stomachs and male calorie intake. It's no wonder that women are struggling with healthy portion sizes, when the choices presented to us are far too large. There is not always a clear definition between a male and female portion size therefore often it is presumed that we can eat the same.

Most restaurant and ready meals are far too high in calories and salt for the female daily recommended food allowance, yet we dine with our partners and friends and consume the same-sized meals. As a result, women have to work twice as hard to burn off the extra calories.

Receiving the same sized portion as your male counterparts might seem normal but in reality, many women are over-eating or contributing to food waste by being unable to finish their giant portions, or in some cases their partners are finishing the meals resulting in them over eating too.

Now do not get me wrong, I think every woman should have the option to eat a large Dominoes, tub of Ben and Jerry's, bag of Sensations and a whole bottle of wine (maybe I'm just dreaming ) if she wants to. But it does seem unfair that the choices presented to us are not even intended for us or even considered with our body shape and size in mind.

Portion sizes in restaurants warp our impressions of portion sizes at home and mostly we end up eating the same portion sizes as the men in our lives when in reality we should be having much smaller portions. This is because on average women are much smaller than men and have less muscle mass and require fewer calories. The average 30-year-old female needs 2000 calories where a same aged man needs 2800.

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Even if they were the same height and weight, the Dietary Reference Intakes approximate that men burn about 400 calories more per day than women.

The portion distortion report 2013 explores how portion sizes have ballooned since the 1990s and how men and women are eating more now than ever before.

Consumers are encouraged to over eat and spend, spend, spend on food and drink.

This is a huge issue for society with nearly two-thirds of UK adults being overweight or obese.

So you can easily see where female obesity rates are booming due to portion distortion.

Combined with the fact that women are given reminders of their weight and diets daily by society whereas there is less pressure on men, why are there not female-sized meals in the first place so that men have to ask for/order more food to fill their demands?

Why does it always have to be the other way round?

How do you fix such a deep-rooted social issue?

The only logical answer would be to introduce the option to have a main meal in a smaller size for small women, teenagers and elderly people. But that would never happen, so it's down to us to have enough respect for ourselves and bodies and to know our limits. Ask for a smaller portion, have the burger without the bun, order a child's size and stop eating male portion sizes.

Of course we can. But don't forget that we are all brought up to clear our plates and not waste food so it means we always have to go against what we have been programmed to do all our lives and leave food on our plates every time we eat.

How much easier life would be for women if meeting our needs was society's default setting, rather than always catering to a man's!

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