Salt and over eating.

I’ve noticed, especially since I’ve started watching, that a lot of fat people use a lot of salt. Many grab the shaker even before tasting the food set before them.
I wonder if they eat to get the salt.
I’m not asking if the salt itself makes one fat. It doesn’t. Nor does water.

Maybe you need a hobby if watching fat people eat is so interesting to you. Personally I think watching anyone eat, regardless of their adipose tissue, is disgusting, and I try not to look at people while they are eating.

My fat father routinely salts food before he tastes it and has done so all my life, even when he was skinny. This habit of his annoys my mom, as she considers it an insult to the cook–especially when she is the cook! My mother, who is also fat, only salts her food after she tastes it, if at all. I, who am also fat, rarely salt my food, as I tend to only like salt on things that are meant to be salty, taste my food before putting salt on it.

You may use this anecdotal data as you wish.

And to answer your question, it beats me. I know too many thin people who grab the salt shaker and go to town before they even taste a morsel of their food to think that salting before tasting is a fat people thing.

Actually, I’m asking for anecdotal data. The scientific method is a big joke.
I’m sorry your parents disgust you. :frowning:
BTW; watching people do just about anything interests me. I like people.

More anecdotal data: I was in a restaurant in Amsterdam a few years ago. A German woman was dining with her family, and when the meals were served she took a salt shaker, unscrewed the top, and poured salt onto her food.

And yes, she was rather large. Not that that proves anything.

I actually searched for answers to this question. I found a lot about the evils of salt, and almost as much ridiculing the anti-salt reports. Nothing about salt increasing the consumption of food.
So I called my oldest (adult) daughter. Both she and her SO use salt, and both are fat. Then I called the younger (adult) daughter. Neither she nor her SO add salt, and neither are fat.
I’ll watch more diligently, I guess. Maybe take notes sub-rosa. Camera phone, no flash?
mangeorge (amateur urban anthropologist)

I literally cringed when I read this. How can anybody bear eating pure salt? Sprinkling a lot, maybe, but pouring?!

Salt is widely held to increase consumption of beverages (witness salty peanuts as bar snacks), so if someone is drinking a beverage with calories, salt would be expected to up their consumption.

I’m a medium-sized person who rarely reaches for the salt shaker. The last person I can think of who aggressively salted was not overweight, but was a long-time smoker who had probably dulled his tastebuds some. Just in case you want to expand the scope of your salt research.

I’ve seen people do what panache45 describes. Not actually pour it in a lump, but if the salt comes out too slowly so they take off the lid and shake it on with the shaker tilted. Liberally.

I’ve seen people pour a little pile onto their plate and then dip their food into the pile as they ate. I’ve not seen people pour the salt, as described, directly onto their food.

Welp, the only people on my dad’s side of the family that I can think of that routinely salt their food are my dad and my uncle, and they are the only ones who are not obese. My uncle is actually underweight.

Both of them are being treated for high blood pressure. Me, my mom, my brother and my aunt are overweight and none of us use salt from the shaker.

So there’s a data point for ya.

Well, since you’re looking for anecdotes, I’ll slide you over to IMHO. When come back, bring data.

samclem GQ moderator

The woman I saw in Amsterdam poured the salt before even tasting the food. Her family didn’t respond to this at all, implying that this was a normal occurrence. She was not only overweight, but had a flushed appearance, like she was ready to burst. She seemed to be around 50ish, and I couldn’t help wondering what her life expectancy was.

I bought my husband his favorite sweatshirt from

The picture on the front of the shirt is of a salt shaker; the caption is “I put salt on my salt.” Yep, that’s him all the way (to my SO, salt is a food group). No, he doesn’t have high blood pressure; and no, he’s not overweight.

Love, Phil

FWIW I am heavy and I don’t think I have picked up my salt shaker at all in the last year unless I was cooking something that called for salt in the recipe. I like salty foods but I think that is probably because I just generally like most foods (except for bitter foods…brussel sprouts and guiness and that kind of bitter stuff I can do without.)

Another fatty here who hardly ever puts salt on his food. In fact, I don’t ever have a salt shaker. I keep a container of salt with my cooking supplies to use with recipes, and I have all three flavors of Bacon Salt. :slight_smile:

Well, just from personal experience, let me say that it would make sense for many fat people to be huge salt addicts. In my experience – hypothyroidism( in me) led to pernicious anemia, which (in me) led to an insatiable desire for salt. I am one of the few people for whom hypothyroidism led to massive weight gain (as opposed the normal 10 - 20 lb gain), so I was fat. Now, I know to call my doctor and have all my levels (iron, b12, tsh) checked when I get in a salt-craving mode.

All that being said, the only other person I know that has a massive salt addiction is probably underweight. She’s a lady I work with that might weigh a buck 20 at 5’8" or thereabouts. She laments the plastic salt shakers we have in the breakroom for their inability to be unscrewed.

I sometimes get salt cravings and will upend the garlic salt shaker over my open palm and sprinkle out some to eat. I lick all the salt off my margarita glass, I will mash my housebaked bread into flavored salt and olive oil. I sprinkle salt on my anchovie pizxza:eek: BUt other than those digressions into salty nirvana I rarely really almost never salt my food after its cooked. I think the salt shaker on the table at every meal is a holdover from my parents generation, I never put the s&p on the table. The kids would just use it as an excuse to spice their food until it’s uneatable

My husband and I are both about 30-40 pounds overweight, and we have no interest in salt. A box of salt lasts me for years. There are a handful of foods that we salt (french fries, turkey sandwich), but other than that, we simply don’t care about added salt. We do, however, both have high blood pressure. We’re trying to cut our sodium consumption back (we eat out and eat processed foods too much) because of this.

ETA: Forget to address overeating - we aren’t actually huge overeaters. As I said, I think it’s more our choices than the quantity.

Well excepting genetic reasons for fat, fat people and people who put lots of salt on their food belong to the same category of ‘people who eat for pleasure and not for health’.

Plus, salt increases water retention, which increases the appearance of puffiness and swelling.

Last weekend we went to Applebees for dinner. I cannot remember when it was the last time we ate there. We each had a desire for their french onion soup. (Yeah, we both know about the salt. That’s not the story here.)

We ordered the two fer $20 meal share. Mine was the house steak. Now, I believe I know steak. I’ve eaten steak in some of the best steak places around, as well as some real dumps. I’ve been to bar-b-ques, family, friends and catered gatherings. I’ve cooked my fair share indoors and out, grilled, fried, etc. I’ve experimented. Grilled it naked, and with various sauces. I’ve been around the block with it, and then some.

We don’t use salt at home. It’s not even in the house. We get more than enough salt in our diets from some of the foods we eat. In fact, we really read the food labels for calories, food additives, fat, nutrition. And salt.

It is my firm belief Applebees uses salt liberally in their steak, not for flavor enhancement but to increase their income. I bet if I boiled the steak dry they served me (yup, right there on the table) it would be covered in salt crystals. Their baked potatoes must be dipped in rock salt (one can see the crystals on the skin).

I have no plans to eat an Applebees steak ever again. We’re now looking for a french onion soup recipe to make it at home, minus the salt. I think Applebees has lost two customers forever.

I ain’t looking back. That’s my Lot about them.