Reporting on the growing size of American houses, one writer starts off the column this way:
Americans’ waistlines aren’t the only things expanding. Their houses are, too.
This is a common tactic used by journalists and other writing about McMansions in the last fifteen years ago. This could have two purposes:
- Link the size of large homes – not owned by the majority of Americans – to other areas of life where Americans are likely to experience larger items.
- The problem may not be big houses but rather the fact that Americans like to consume all sorts of things.
I’ve seen a number of examples cited including SUVs, large TVs, air conditioning, and steak. Food comes up occasionally, whether steak or big restaurant portions or oversized sodas.
Regarding the second purpose, few of the news stories have space for tackling how to reduce overall consumption. The criticism is clear – leading the story with the quoted line implies that both things are bad – yet unexplained.