Americans Eating Less, Still Fighting Obesity


fast foodIt's common sense that if you take in fewer calories, it can help you lose weight. So, why are Americans eating fewer calories, but yet so many are still fighting obesity? A survey by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) found that the average daily energy intake increased by 314 calories from 1971 to 2003, and then decreased by 74 calories between 2003 and 2010. The survey results are based on nine National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES) conducted from 1971 to 2010 on 63,761 adults aged 20 to 74. The survey was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Read more about obesity

The survey is interesting considering that according to the CDC 35 percent of all American adults are obese. Perhaps other surveys can shed light on the problem. A survey last year, titled Consumer Attitudes toward Food Safety, Nutrition & Health, found that just over 50 percent of participants couldn't provide an estimate of how many calories they burn in a day, and only 20 percent believe calories from sugars are most likely to cause weight gain, up from 11 percent in 2011. About 45 percent claimed that they don't pay attention to high fructose corn syrup in their meals, and 62 percent said they don't pay attention to refined carbohydrates when making food purchasing decisions. And when it comes to physical activity, 77 percent are not meeting the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Physical Activity Guidelines.

 

Another survey last year by the American Heart Association (AHA), found that only 12 percent surveyed said that they regularly practice good nutrition, exercise and oral care. However 80 percent said eating at least nine servings of fruit and vegetables daily is a struggle. Sixty percent said it was difficult to get the AHA's recommended levels of exercise, which is at least 150 minutes weekly of moderate physical activity. Although a CDC report found that Americans are eating slightly less fast food on a daily basis, the bad news is that they are still getting over 11 percent of their daily calories from fast food.

Read more about the healthiest fruits and vegetables

Maybe the problem is that while Americans are taking in fewer calories, the food they are eating is still so high in saturated fat, sodium and sugar that it's preventing them from losing any real weight and fighting back against obesity. Combined with the fact that not too many are exercising regularly, it is little wonder that more than one quarter of Americans are still struggling to lose weight and buck the trend of obesity.

Photo Credit: ebruli



By Gina-Marie Cheeseman| October 17, 2013
Categories:  Eat
Keywords:  EatFood and Nutrition

About the Author

Gina-Marie Cheeseman

Gina-Marie Cheeseman

Gina-Marie is a freelance writer armed with a passion for healthy living and a degree in journalism. Hailing from the dry, sunny Central San Joaquin Valley, she hasn't let the heat fry her brain!

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