Obesity and dining out: A connection?

Sheryl Sollars - Welcome To My Kitchen

Today’s column may offend some of my readers as I am going to discuss something that none of us like to discuss: Obesity.

Here goes….

We are what we eat. Whether it is take out or fast food drive-through, the result is poor nutrition and overweight people.

In the past year statistics show that 65 percent of all people in Ohio are overweight. Is that as unbelievable to you as it is to me?

This is small-town, rural Ohio, and primarily a farming community. We are the hog raising capital of Ohio and also raise and produce large amounts of beef.

When I was growing up (before fast food), it was rare to see an overweight person. Today, they are everywhere. The sad statistics show that it is not only adults with this problem, but also children and teens. Why?

Today, nutritionists and doctors state that it is not only that we over eat, but that we don’t eat properly. I personally believe that a majority of obesity comes today from just plain careless eating.

When I was younger and raising a family, we never went out. I always prepared meals at home consisting of meat or casserole, vegetable, and usually some type of salad . I never even bordered being overweight. Even after my children left home, regular balanced meals were a part of my life. I was raised that way and I guess you would say it was a habit!

Yes, we went out to eat once or twice a month, but it usually was not fast food as we know it today.

Over the years I personally have gained some pounds. And, guess what, I eat out a lot! Eating out, we tend to be faced with larger portions than we have at home and almost all of them are things that I would not prepare at home. They have fat, rich sauces and are high in starch.

The results …extra pounds! In fact, according to today’s guidelines, I would be considered obese.

It may sound funny to you to read a column from a cook complaining about how she eats, but when the shoe fits, wear it!

Today, I am going to try to encourage my readers to really watch what you eat and check and see if your lifestyle includes over eating outside of the home. If so, and you, too, are gaining weight, then try some of these fast ideas for “home cooking” and maybe you will find time in your schedule to actually cook at home where you can watch what you put in your mouth.

Please don’t get me wrong, dining out is fun and it’s easy, but it is also just as easy to eat out in non-fast food restaurants.

Here is a “better than take out” recipe.


3 Oranges

3 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar

2 Tablespoon olive oil

2 Tablespoon snipped fresh mint

4 – 4 to 5 oz. fresh or thawed skinless salmon fillets about 1” thick

Non-stick cooking spray

8 cups mixed salad greens

1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion

2 Tablespoon sliced almonds (Toasted)

For the vinaigrette, remove 1/4 teaspoon zest and squeeze 3 tablespoons juice from one of the oranges. In a screw-top bottle, combine orange zest and juice, vinegar, mint, oil and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Cover and shake well.

Rinse salmon; pat dry. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Coat both sides of salmon with cooking spray. Grill salmon (covered) over medium heat 8-12 minutes or just until salmon flakes, turning once.

Divide salad greens among 4 plates. Peel and thinly slice the remaining 2 oranges. Top greens with oranges, onion and salmon. Drizzle with vinaigrette, sprinkle with almonds

See you next time with more nutritional recipes. — Sheryl

Sheryl Sollars, a Clinton County native, is an accomplished cook and homemaker. She contributes her column “Welcome to My Kitchen” out of her love of homemaking and of sharing her thoughts with her readers. If you have cooking questions or a recipe you want to share, please contact Sheryl at kitchenlady44@yahoo.com.


Sheryl Sollars

Welcome To My Kitchen