The American diet has been bad for our health for years. Overly processed foods high in calories have been a staple for years, and while more people are trying to eat better, we have a long way to go.
People on the lower end of the economic spectrum have traditionally had the worst diets since many processed foods are less expensive.
The study, published recently in JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Assn.) was published earlier this week. They analyzed the eating habits of nearly 44,000 adults between the years of 1999 and 2016.
While there is increased awareness that sugar and low-quality whole-grain foods are bad for us, 42% of a typical American’s daily calories came from refined grains, starchy veggies, and added sugars.
Saturated fat intake was too high as well, and only 9% of our diet came from whole grains and fruits.
People over the age of 50 who were poor fared worse than the average population.
Eating better is important because it is more expensive to treat the diseases that result from these poor dietary habits. Wouldn’t feeding the public more appropriately cost less than treating the diseases that result from it?
There are programs developing that can potentially get surplus food out to those who need it, affordably. Many of these foods include vegetables that may not look nice but are nutritious and good to eat. Some companies have developed business models to sell this food, while many foods are simply thrown out when they can be used to feed others. The ugly food movement has been tainted by wall street who has taken advantage of those wanting to do good. Unfortunately, few small farmers have benefitted from this.
For those who are on food stamps, they have better choices if they choose to cook food. Many farmer’s markets, as well as supermarkets, have sections of quality food that may have been marked down because it may be on its way to spoilage. Many of these foods are full of nutrition but need to be cooked or prepared that day or the day after and can offer those on the lower end of the income spectrum a better quality of food than processed foods and sugary drinks.
Check out the CNN article below
A new ‘report card’ on America’s diet: It’s not an ‘F’ but…
By Sandee LaMotte, CNN
Are you a glass half-full sort of person? Well, then, get ready for some good news. You and your fellow Americans are doing a better job of eliminating crummy carbs and sugar from your diet.
That’s the takeaway from a new “report card” on the American diet, which found that since 1999 we are eating nearly 3% fewer highly processed foods with added sugars. The study, published Tuesday in JAMA, analyzed the eating habits of nearly 44,000 adults between the years of 1999 and 2016.
“These positive trends are likely to reflect an increased public awareness of the health risks associated with high added sugar and low whole-grain consumption,” said study co-author Fang Fang Zhang, an associate professor at Tuft’s Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy.