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Toastmasters Project #7
Research your topic
We are what we eat - Bernardo Najlis
Fellow Toastmasters and welcomed guests... I would like to talk tonight about a subject
that we all share just for the fact of being human: food. I’m sure you all love food as I
love it. I swear I do. I come from a country which is, according to the Encyclopedia of
the nations, 97% european in origin, principally from Spain and Italy. And you know how
italians are with food... I remember when I was a kid my mom, which is from italian
family, used to tell me “Mangia che te fa bene”... “Eating is good for you”. Everything we
do there is somehow related to food: we meet around food, we talk about food, we
celebrate and mourn with food. Food accommodates any kind of emotional state you
can get.

So I was amazed to see how different things are here in Canada and in our neighbor
down the south, the United States. According to a study published by BioMed
Central’s journal in 2010, Canadians can expect to live about three years longer
than americans: until 79.7 years of age versus 77.2. Of course the study cites that
one of the main reasons might be that attributed to differences in access to healthcare.
But Argentina also has life expectancy similar to the US (76.95) and access to
healthcare is also good, maybe not as the same quality level as Canada, but pretty
much universally accessible.

So I came up with my own theory about why this might happen and it is related to food
and how we eat. Just by my own simple observation of people on the streets on these
countries’ major cities (Toronto, Buenos Aires and New York City) you can tell that
canadians look slightly more fit. I’ve noticed that in Buenos Aires almost everybody had
a belly and used clothes one or two sizes larger to try to hide it. I like to call it “the happy
belly”, as I told you before, people like to celebrate good times around food. And I
haven’t been in New York lately but let me tell you that according to the american
Center for Disease Control and Prevention, about one-third of the US adults
(33.8%) are obese.

But what I think makes the difference between this countries is really something much
more simple: portions’ sizes. Let me tell you some examples on how big portions were
20 years ago and how big are now based on a list provided by the american National
Hearth, Lung and Blood Institute:

• Two slices of pizza used to account 500 calories, and are now 850 calories. Those
  extra 350 calories, if eaten just two times a month, would put on two extra pounds a
  year.
• A cup of coffee (used to be just coffee) was just 45 calories. Today we have a Grande
  cafe mocha with cream: 330 calories. Even Starbucks has a larger than Venti size in
  the states, called “Trenta”: 916 mL (almost one liter, the average capacity of an adult
  human stomach).
• Movie popcorn: 360 extra calories.
• Bagels: 210 extra calories.
• Cheeseburguers: 257 extra calories
• Even healthy food got large: a regular serving of Chicken Caesar Salad 20 years ago
  used to be 390 calories, and now is around 790 calories.

But is not only food portions that just increased; plate, bowl and cup sizes have as well.
According to the same study, in the early 1990s, the standard size of a dinner plate
increased from 10 to 12 inches. A study published in the American Journal of
Preventive Medicine found that when people were given larger bowls and spoons, they
served themselves larger portions and tended to eat the whole portion.

What can I say? I am guilty as charged. But according to a very trustable source, the
weight scale I have in my own bathroom, portion size control works very well if you feel
you have to loose weight. You can start using smaller plates. Try not to eat the whole
plate to the end. Another trick I use: put a paper napkin on top of what’s left on your
plate, so you don’t have the urge to look at it to finish it.

I can attest that these tricks work, and if they help us stay alive three more years, I
would be glad, because I will have more time to give more Toastmasters speeches!

Thank you!

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Toastmasters speech #7 - Research your Subject

  • 1. Toastmasters Project #7 Research your topic We are what we eat - Bernardo Najlis Fellow Toastmasters and welcomed guests... I would like to talk tonight about a subject that we all share just for the fact of being human: food. I’m sure you all love food as I love it. I swear I do. I come from a country which is, according to the Encyclopedia of the nations, 97% european in origin, principally from Spain and Italy. And you know how italians are with food... I remember when I was a kid my mom, which is from italian family, used to tell me “Mangia che te fa bene”... “Eating is good for you”. Everything we do there is somehow related to food: we meet around food, we talk about food, we celebrate and mourn with food. Food accommodates any kind of emotional state you can get. So I was amazed to see how different things are here in Canada and in our neighbor down the south, the United States. According to a study published by BioMed Central’s journal in 2010, Canadians can expect to live about three years longer than americans: until 79.7 years of age versus 77.2. Of course the study cites that one of the main reasons might be that attributed to differences in access to healthcare. But Argentina also has life expectancy similar to the US (76.95) and access to healthcare is also good, maybe not as the same quality level as Canada, but pretty much universally accessible. So I came up with my own theory about why this might happen and it is related to food and how we eat. Just by my own simple observation of people on the streets on these countries’ major cities (Toronto, Buenos Aires and New York City) you can tell that canadians look slightly more fit. I’ve noticed that in Buenos Aires almost everybody had a belly and used clothes one or two sizes larger to try to hide it. I like to call it “the happy belly”, as I told you before, people like to celebrate good times around food. And I haven’t been in New York lately but let me tell you that according to the american Center for Disease Control and Prevention, about one-third of the US adults (33.8%) are obese. But what I think makes the difference between this countries is really something much more simple: portions’ sizes. Let me tell you some examples on how big portions were 20 years ago and how big are now based on a list provided by the american National Hearth, Lung and Blood Institute: • Two slices of pizza used to account 500 calories, and are now 850 calories. Those extra 350 calories, if eaten just two times a month, would put on two extra pounds a year.
  • 2. • A cup of coffee (used to be just coffee) was just 45 calories. Today we have a Grande cafe mocha with cream: 330 calories. Even Starbucks has a larger than Venti size in the states, called “Trenta”: 916 mL (almost one liter, the average capacity of an adult human stomach). • Movie popcorn: 360 extra calories. • Bagels: 210 extra calories. • Cheeseburguers: 257 extra calories • Even healthy food got large: a regular serving of Chicken Caesar Salad 20 years ago used to be 390 calories, and now is around 790 calories. But is not only food portions that just increased; plate, bowl and cup sizes have as well. According to the same study, in the early 1990s, the standard size of a dinner plate increased from 10 to 12 inches. A study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that when people were given larger bowls and spoons, they served themselves larger portions and tended to eat the whole portion. What can I say? I am guilty as charged. But according to a very trustable source, the weight scale I have in my own bathroom, portion size control works very well if you feel you have to loose weight. You can start using smaller plates. Try not to eat the whole plate to the end. Another trick I use: put a paper napkin on top of what’s left on your plate, so you don’t have the urge to look at it to finish it. I can attest that these tricks work, and if they help us stay alive three more years, I would be glad, because I will have more time to give more Toastmasters speeches! Thank you!