Fast Facts: Americans' Eating Habits

The USDA reports that to meet the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, people would need to substantially lower their intake of added fats, refined grains, sodium, along with added sugars and sweeteners, and increase their consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat milk and milk products.1

Some American eating habits over the past few decades include:

More Calories

Bigger Portion Sizes

More Sugar

More Dietary Fat

A Major Increase in Eating Out


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9 Guthrie JF, Lin BH, and Frazao E. "Role of Food Prepared Away from Home in the American Diet, 1977-78 versus 1994-96: Changes and Consequences." Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 34(3):140-50, 2002.

10 Fryar CD and Ervin B. Caloric intake from fast food among adults: United States, 2007-2010. NCHS data brief, no 114. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics, 2013.