American Diet Still Far From Healthy Even As Consumers Cut Back On Calories

American Diet Still Far From Healthy Even As Consumers Cut Back On Calories

For decades, it has been difficult for public health officials to come up with anything good to say about the American diet. The nation’s notoriously unhealthy eating habits have been blamed for rising obesity rates and increased risk of heart disease, among other problems such as generating unsettling amounts of food waste and polluting the environment with methane gas from livestock. 

Finally, some good news -- the New York Times recently reported that Americans have begun to eat fewer calories and that the steady rise of the nation’s obesity rate seems to have leveled off. The biggest dietary change over time seems to have come in American’s consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages. The number of daily calories U.S. consumers took in through these drinks dropped by 186 from 2004 to 2012. 

While that’s encouraging, it’s certainly not the end of a decadeslong effort to bring America’s burgeoning waistline under control. Today, U.S. residents still purchase (and presumably guzzle) about 30 gallons of regular soda each year. Furthermore, adults consumed 2,134 calories a day in 2010. Compare that to the 1980s, when Americans took in 1,850 calories a day. Or, consider that the recommended number of calories per day is about 2,000  according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture -- and it’s clear that America’s dietary patterns still have a ways to go before they can be considered healthy. 

One issue is that though Americans are eating fewer calories, they still aren’t choosing the best meals. For starters, 90 percent of Americans consume far too much salt, according to data recently released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In addition, four out of five U.S. consumers eat to few fruits and vegetables.  

Certain foods seem to contribute to the nation's pattern of unhealthy eating more than others. Last year, researchers with the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that sandwiches were partly to blame for the country’s salt overload -- about half of Americans eat a sandwich on any given day and those sandwiches account for one-fifth of daily salt intake. The calorie-laden diet of most Americans revolves around a few key categories -- grain-based desserts such as cookies and cakes are the primary culprit while pizza, alcoholic beverages and pasta are among the leading accomplices, according to data compiled from the 2010 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee by Harvard Medical School. Overall, about 61 percent of the calories contained in the typical American’s grocery store purchases come from processed food, Time reports. 

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Phone: 615-973-6363
Dated: July 27th 2015
Views: 283
About Dorothy: Dorothy Lee’s 22+ years extensive knowledge and experience in Real Estate provides her a unique v...

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