I think people worry too much about causing offense. We live in a culture where it is ok to be offensive to others, but it's not ok for someone to offend us.Refusing foods and drink offered is not easy as many take a refusal personally. Sometimes it is because they went to effort to offer items they especially like and assume others do, and sometimes it is because a refusal reminds them of their own resolve to avoid such 'delicacies' and that they are not doing so.
Regardless, it is not easy to refuse without drawing attention or causing offence. I saw an article online then other day suggesting ways to do so. My excuse right now is my medication. That works for drink, but I need a good excuse for food.
Why is it polite to offer someone unhealthy food or drink, but it's impolite to decline it? This is a carryover from times when there were food shortages.
And yes, if someone goes overboard trying to push food at me, I have actually been known to tell them to look at the people there that are eating it. They're fat. I don't want to end up like them.
Allen, a good excuse for you to easily turn down food is to mention that you had a heard event last year and were in the hospital for X days. You're trying to get your weight under control before eating too much/wrong foods kills you before you can watch the grandkids grow up.
It politely reminds people of the consequences of eating unhealthy. You put the consequences on yourself, instead of pointing out that they are going to kill themselves with their eating habits...and by mentioning your grandkids, you cause them to focus on 'feeling' and emotion instead of 'thinking' - and people have been conditioned to feel instead of think.
If I decline food, I often use the excuse that I am trying to watch my weight. I'm not fat, so people usually tell me this one thing won't hurt me. I will then point out that when I hit 160 pounds, my belly gets in my way when I bend over, and at 165 my bad leg aches constantly. (I badly injured my leg in an auto accident 20 years ago.) I point out that I have a good 6 pack stomach at 140-145, but I still feel good at 150-155.
This gives people a frame of reference to compare their body weight to mine, (and a lot of people are larger than me) without me pointing out the physical limitations you put on your body with only small weight gains.
I've also been known to comment that for every 50-75 pounds of fat a guy has, he effectively loses about 1/2 inch of penis length because of the fat buildup at the base. And if I get any shorter, the girls are REALLY gonna laugh at me. Or you can say that it takes a 'big man' to turn down that chocolate cake.
I've also been known to comment to people that I try to eat a Levitical diet from the Bible. This cuts out a lot of fattening foods, and you end up eating a lot more vegetables.
Don't get me wrong...I'm a bachelor who has hates to cook and eats an atrocious diet. (It helps that I don't have a strong sweet tooth.) I don't have a problem avoiding alcohol - I just tell people I quit drinking 20 years ago and no point in drinking now.
I think people will find a reason to eat and drink if they want to, and they will find an excuse not to if they don't want to.
I think soft drinks are another big contributor. I recall a diet tip I heard once - eat your calories, don't drink them. People consume more calories in drinks than I think they realize.I am now listening to Salt, Sugar, Fat. Previously, I listened to The End of Overeating and Always Hungry, and the inescapable conclusion from listening to all three books is that processed foods and snack foods are behind the obesity epidemic.
Someone who drinks 3 cans of soda daily at 170 calories per can has a 510 calorie intake. That's 1/4 to 1/3 of the calories someone should eat a day.