A funny thing has happened to America's restaurant appetizers, starters, and sides: They've started growing bigger than the main meals. It's now common for a diner to wolf down 500 or 600 greasy calories before even starting on the entree, or to find that amount sitting alongside an already-giant burger.
One might wonder where all the calories end up. The answer: our collective belly-fat supplies. Last year, obesity rates stayed constant in only 13 states, while the other 37 states saw an increase. This big fat growth—which stretches over 75 percent of America—is due in no small part to our propensity to eat full meals before we eat full meals. (It's not uncommon anymore to take in 2 days' worth of calories in a single meal at one of our favorite restaurants.)
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