A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from May 01, 2012
Standard American Diet (SAD)

Food authors have discussed the term “standard American diet” in print since at least the 1930s. The name “Standard American Diet” and its acronym “S.A.D.” have been linked together since at least 1976, with many writers noting that the “standard American diet” is “sad” for its lack of nutritious food.

Wikipedia: Western pattern diet
The Western pattern diet, also called Western dietary pattern or the meat-sweet diet, is a dietary habit chosen by many people in developed countries, and increasingly in developing countries. It is characterized by high intakes of red meat, sugary desserts, high-fat foods, and refined grains. It also typically contains high-fat dairy products, high-sugar drinks, and higher intakes of processed meat.

The term is used to describe this pattern of diet in medical literature, regardless of where the diet is found, and is often contrasted with the “prudent” diet, which has higher levels of fruits, vegetables, whole-grain foods, poultry and fish.
Standard American Diet
The “Standard American Diet” (S.A.D.) is a similar term, specifically used to denigrate what some authors say is the stereotypical diet of Americans. The typical American diet is about 50% carbohydrate, 15% protein, and 35% fat which is over the dietary guidelines for the amount of fat (below 30%), below the guidelines for carbohydrate (above 55%), and at the bottom end of the guidelines for the amount of protein (above 15%) recommended in the diet.

Google Books
Laurel’s Kitchen:
A handbook for vegetarian cookery & nutrition

By Laurel Robertson, Carol Flinders and Bronwen Godfrey
New York, NY: Bantam Books
Pg. 363:
I built up my repertoire somewhat when we got married, but the Standard American Diet (SAD indeed) isn’t all that challenging, after all, given the range of convenience food that’s available.

Google Books
What the Medical Establishment Won’t Tell You That Could Save Your Life
By Michael L. Culbert
Virginia Beach, VA: Donning
Pg. 92:
The path to overall better health and less degenerative disease through abandonment of the “standard American diet” (SAD ā€” an appropriate acronym) was established in 1978 through the unlikely medium of a study of Navy pilots imprisoned by the Vietcong during the Vietnam War.

Google Books
Nutrition in Nursing: The New Approach:
A handbook of nursing science

By Betty Kamen and E. Lynn Fraley
New Canaan, CT: Keats Pub.
Pg. 169:
To help temper the transition from Standard American Diet (note the acronym ā€” it’s SAD) to fare that is both healthful and welcome, we have developed a series of “steps of change.”

Google Books
August 1988, Vegetarian Times, pg. 23, col. 1:
In the standard American diet (aptly abbreviated as SAD) the average American consumes 42 gallons of soft drinks, 72 pounds of refined sugar, and 106 pounds of beef and veal per year.

1 April 2002, Erie (PA) Times-News, “Choosy eaters choose to eat to beat cancer,” pg. 2:
Given that the standard American diet is truly SAD, there is a lot of room for improvement.

23 November 2003, Pacific Daily News (Hagatna, Guam), “Experts weigh in on popular diets” by Jojo Santo Tomas, pg. A20:
First of all, when followed as intended each of these diets is generally healthier than the standard American diet otherwise known as the SAD diet.

Why I hate the phrase “Standard American Diet (SAD)”
I hate when people use the phrase the “Standard American Diet”, or SAD, to exemplify what’s wrong with our food system.  It’s so contemptuous. The problem with Coca Cola and Snickers isn’t that they’re American foods.  The problem with soda pop and candy bars is that they’re industrial foods.  Some of the earliest industrial foods, like refined flour and sugar, and industrial food processing methods, like pasteurization or canning, weren’t American in origin at all.  The Industrial Revolution started in the UK, people.  The Europeans started it. 

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • (2) Comments • Tuesday, May 01, 2012 • Permalink