Americans eating a little less, a little better, study finds

January 16, 2014

Americans are eating a bit less, dining out fewer times and consuming slightly healthier food, the US Department of Agriculture said in a study released Thursday, calling the finding "encouraging."

Between 2005 and 2010 the number of calories consumed each day decreased five percent among working-age adults, the study reported.

Fat consumption also decreased, while fiber consumption increased, it added, based on a survey of nearly 10,000 adults.

Spending on prepared outside the home—whether at restaurants, via to-go food or other means—decreased 13 percent. Fast food accounted for roughly 40 percent of prepared meals.

In 2010, Americans consumed around 30 percent of their calories from meals prepared outside the home, compared with 35 percent in 2005. And the number of meals eaten at home increased from 5.8 a week to 6.29.

These reductions "accounted for 20 percent of the improvements in diet quality," the study said.

The number of from outside the home began to slowly climb in 2010, the study authors noted, but they said consumers were more mindful of the food's quality.

Overall, there were "encouraging findings" that "more Americans are paying attention on nutrition facts and prioritizing nutrition in the household," said Kevin Concannon, USDA under secretary for food, and consumer services.

More than one in three adults, or 78 million Americans, is obese.

The epidemic has resulted in an increase in public and private initiatives to combat Americans' overweight lifestyles, which are blamed for an estimated $190 billion in medical spending each year.

Explore further: Fast food not the major cause of rising childhood obesity rates, study finds

Related Stories

Fast food not the major cause of rising childhood obesity rates, study finds

January 15, 2014
For several years, many have been quick to attribute rising fast-food consumption as the major factor causing rapid increases in childhood obesity. Now researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill report ...

Nutrition guidelines needed for full-service restaurant chains

January 8, 2014
Food prepared away from home is typically higher in calories and lower in nutrition than food prepared at home, but it now makes up more than one-third of all calories purchased in the United States. Consumers tend to view ...

Eating burgers from restaurants associated with higher obesity risk in in African-American women

December 11, 2013
Americans are increasingly eating more of their meals prepared away from home, and this is particularly true among African Americans, who also have higher rates of obesity than other Americans. Young adults tend to eat out ...

American snacking habits to blame for obesity: study

July 1, 2011
(Medical Xpress) -- In a new study published in PLoS Medicine, researchers have shown that it is not only the American habit of “super-sizing” meals that is leading to obesity, but the number of snacks and meals ...

Kinesiology expert comments on latest federal survey on American diets

March 4, 2013
Kids are consuming fewer calories, and adults are eating less fast food, according to a federal government survey released Feb. 21.

Recommended for you

Parents have critical role in preventing teen drinking

July 20, 2017
Fewer teenagers are drinking alcohol but more needs to be done to curb the drinking habits of Australian school students, based on the findings of the latest study by Adelaide researchers.

Aging Americans enjoy longer life, better health when avoiding three risky behaviors

July 20, 2017
We've heard it before from our doctors and other health experts: Keep your weight down, don't smoke and cut back on the alcohol if you want to live longer.

Fresh fish oil lowers diabetes risk in rat offspring

July 19, 2017
Fresh fish oil given to overweight pregnant rats prevented their offspring from developing a major diabetes risk factor, Auckland researchers have found.

High-dose vitamin D doesn't appear to reduce the winter sniffles for children

July 18, 2017
Giving children high doses of vitamin D doesn't appear to reduce the winter sniffles, a new study has found.

Scientists develop new supplement that can repair, rejuvenate muscles in older adults

July 18, 2017
Whey protein supplements aren't just for gym buffs according to new research from McMaster university. When taken on a regular basis, a combination of these and other ingredients in a ready-to-drink formula have been found ...

Study: Eating at 'wrong time' affects body weight, circadian rhythms

July 18, 2017
A new high-precision feeding system for lab mice reinforces the idea that the time of day food is eaten is more critical to weight loss than the amount of calories ingested.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.