2008-10-23 / Sam Bari

The downsizing conspiracy

You can't beat a system you can't understand
By Sam Bari

At the risk of being impolite, I believe it is safe to say that most conspiracy theorists are well . . . nuts.

However, I find it difficult to refute that something is responsible for making Americans the fattest people on the planet. It could be a conspiracy. It appears to me that a clandestine technique cleverly designed to conceal the identity of a real enemy has been deployed. No matter how you look at it, someone wants the population of the U. S. A. to be fat.

Now, we all know that the number one rule for solving most problems of this nature is to follow the money. Figure out who benefits from making Americans fat. At first, I thought it was the food companies. The food guys were the obvious candidates.

They sold us convenience, saved us time, offered us instant gratification, and all kinds of goodies that we could never make at home that were indeed, quite tasty. The marketing biggie was when the fast food folks made it cheaper to eat out than to cook food at home.

Nonetheless, those of us who needed to lose a few pounds were well aware of the guaranteed rule for not gaining weight. If it tastes good, spit it out. Whatever you do, do not swallow anything that tastes good. The best policy is to not allow anything that tastes good to pass your lips. If we really wanted to, we could have just said no and not let the food guys take advantage.

Okay. Who were we trying to kid? We knew that was not going to happen. If any of us portly people got hungry and something tasty came our way, we ate it. You know it's true.

So the food guys won. The country bit into their taste and convenience program and they sent us on our way to creating cardiologist heaven. End of story, so you'd think.

But no - the food guys weren't finished yet. They wanted the majority of the market. So far, they only had a large slice of the food fortune pie. They wanted the whole thing.

They consulted with the fashion freaks and attacked with psychological warfare. Together, they did a media blitz and made it fashionable to be ultra skinny.

Attaining anorexic bodies like those of the beautiful and popular was next to impossible for us fluffy folks. Consequently, the campaign to make us feel inferior worked. It drove us to eating more. Food was the only road to happiness, or so we thought.

The methodology was successful for at least a few decades. Slowly, the nation grew fatter and food profits soared. Now that we had wet their palates, the food-marketing guys couldn't stop.

At this point, I should have suspected that the food guys were not alone in this devious plan to make the obese even fatter. But no - I didn't see it. I got sucked into the most underhanded of all their marketing trickery.

They cleverly downsized food packaging. A 64-ounce or half-gallon ice cream container suddenly showed up on supermarket shelves as a 56-ounce container called a scround. It was a square box with round corners.

Now here's the rub: The 56- ounce container of premium ice cream sold for the same price as the real half-gallon. The only difference was the shape and size of the package. The first to do this was Mayfi eld Dairies in Athens, Tenn. And they got by with it. There wasn't so much as a blip in sales figures.

Do you know why? The answer is easy. The ice cream addicts couldn't do anything about it. Instead of boycotting the market, they just caved in and continued eating.

It wasn't long before 12-ounce beer cans turned into 10-ounce cans, and fewer potato chips showed up in the big bags. Hershey's put out a Special Dark chocolate "giant bar" that was 6.8 ounces. It's not as giant as the previous 8-ounce version, which wasn't marked "giant." In many cases the size of the containers stayed the same, there was just less in them.

But making profits by shrinking the contents wasn't all that the food companies accomplished. Their methodology made us buy and eat more. You see, they only downsized the food that makes us fat. You didn't see cans of vegetables shrinking. Oh no! The ice cream, potato chips, candy, and beer — those were the items that shrunk.

When we bought a six-pack of 10-ounce cans, we got 60-ounces of beer. We were accustomed to 12- ounce cans that yielded 72-ounces in a six-pack. Sixty was just not enough. We could have just bought an extra beer. But no, we bought a convenient 12-pack and drank even more. The marketing guys didn't make a seven-pack or even an eight-pack. They stuck us with the 12-pack. And we bought it.

There just weren't quite enough potato chips in the downsized giant bag, so we bought two to satisfy our need for consistency. Anyway - I'm sure you get my point.

Now for the shocker. It wasn't just the food guys who wanted to fatten us up. Oh no. I got to the bottom of the problem and figured out who the real culprits were.

It's the space guys. They are here disguised as Earthlings. They are making us fat and we have to figure out why. The space guys showed the food guys how to get rich just to achieve their demonic goals. And I can prove it.

Watch Star Trek, Star Wars, or Lost in Space. You won't find a single fat guy in any of those movies or TV shows. I'm telling you, the space guys are here and they are making us fat for unthinkable reasons. Mark my words. It's a conspiracy. They play a major role in this system we can't understand.

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