Are You Eating a Healthy Diet?

by | May 25, 2021 | Nutrition

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Tufts researchers report that the great majority of the meals Americans eat at fast food restaurants are of poor nutritional quality—85 percent of those consumed by children and 70 percent for adults.

The average American diet has improved in recent decades, based on results from years of surveys in which participants recall the food and drink they have consumed in the previous 24 hours. But nearly half of the adults in the U.S.—and 56 percent of children—still eat poor quality diets.

Americans are eating less sugar and red meat, and more whole grains, poultry and nuts. But only 1.5 percent are eating what nutritionists would consider to be an “ideal” diet.

According to Dariush Mozaffarian, Dean of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, “In the U.S., 42% of all calories consumed are carbohydrates from lower-nutritional-quality foods such as refined grains and cereals, added sugars and potatoes.” Carbohydrates with higher nutritional value, such as whole grains, legumes, fruit and non-starchy vegetables, make up less than 10 percent of calories consumed.

Tufts researchers also report that the great majority of the meals Americans eat at fast food restaurants are of poor nutritional quality—85 percent of those consumed by children and 70 percent for adults. The greatest improvements have been seen in school meals, where the share of poor-quality meals has decreased from 56 percent to 24 percent. This success is attributed to the Healthy-Hunger Free Kids Act, but in recent years proposals have been put forward to loosen its standards.

Rates of poor nutrition are higher in disadvantaged sectors of the population, and lower among those with higher income and more education. The scale of both the “low-value” and the “healthy” food markets is enormous; the Fast Food industry generated revenue of $239 billion in 2020, and the 2020 “health and wellness” food market is estimated to be over $220 billion.

Each of these sectors spends billions on advertising and promotion to influence decisions about diet. How can you progress toward joining the far-too-small group of Americans eating an “ideal” diet and give your body the best possible chance to function as it should? A free eBook from eSavvyHealth, The Carbohydrate Wars: An Introduction, can help you get started. Click here to read it.

Fundamentals of Health Alliance

Fundamentals of Health Alliance

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The Fundamentals of Health Alliance works to publish useful and reliable information about nutrition and health. Their mission is to empower readers to be informed with honest, non-biased information about food, nutrition and the vital components of health.

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