After decades of worsening diets and sharp increases in obesity, Americans’ eating habits have begun changing for the better.
Calories consumed daily by the typical American adult, which peaked around 2003, are in the midst of their first sustained decline since federal statistics began to track the subject, more than 40 years ago. The number of calories that the average American child takes in daily has fallen even more — by at least 9 percent.
The declines cut across most major demographic groups — including higher- and lower-income families, and blacks and whites — though they vary somewhat by group.
In the most striking shift, the amount of full-calorie soda drunk by the average American has dropped 25 percent since the late 1990s.
Obesity rates appear to have stopped rising for adults and school-aged children and have come down for the youngest children, suggesting the calorie reductions are making a difference.
Journal of the American Medical Associatin - Prevalence of Childhood and Adult Obesity in the United States, 2011-2012
More than one-third of adults and 17% of youth in the United States are obese, although the prevalence remained stable between 2003-2004 and 2009-2010.
More than a third of American adults are still considered obese, putting them at increased risk of diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Americans are still eating far too few fruits and vegetables and far too much junk food, even if they are eating somewhat less of it, experts say.
SOURCE - NY Times, JAMA