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What Do Americans Eat?
Most of the time when we imagine what American eat, its the image of unhealthy food like burger and hotdogs come to our mind. US still have a one of the largest number of Obese people in the world. However, due to the continued efforts from US government and media, people of US are more concerned about their eating habits. More and more people are moving towards eating healthy food now. In fact according to USDA research, this shift towards healthy food started in 1980's and still continuing.
Between 1977-78 and 1989-91, according to USDA surveys, the average intake of fat declined from 40 percent of total energy (calories) to 34 percent,still well above the 30-percent maximum recommended. carbohydrate intake increased from 43 percent of total calories intake to 49 percent but still remains lower than 55-60 percent minimum.
Americans are eating more low-fat and nonfat products, and leaner cuts of meat.But this trend has been undermined by a increasing preference for high-fat convenience foods, fast foods, and snacks. More Americans then ever are eating out,eat on the run, and eat more often than ever before. In the process, some have unknowingly increased their consumption of added fats, oils, and sugars.
If we look at the above table, consumption of raw meat has gone down considerably which is a good sign. At the same time, consumption of fish have gone up. Egg consumption have gone down mainly to the fact that people are conscious of cholesterol in egg yolk. Consumption of Vegetable and fruits have increased however it is still not at the desired level. Apart from that Cheese and refined sugar intake are still at higher level which is a cause of concern.
Intake of fluid milk has gone down in last 20 years as people now prefer low fat milk. In last 20 years, Americans cut their average annual consumption of fluid whole milk by nearly half and have increased use of low-fat milk by two-fifths. In fact they have doubled consumption of skim milk. However the country have failed to cut its overall use of milk fat because of growing
demand for cheese. Per capita use of cheese has increased 53 percent in last 25 years.
Overall, Us is moving towards more healthy food as compared to 20 years ago. However, more need to be done before the image a fat man goes away from mind when people are asked to visualize an American eating.