USDA: Americans Eating Better, Cutting Calories

USDA: Americans Eating Better, Cutting Calories
USDA: Americans Eating Better, Cutting Calories

(HealthDay News) – American adults are eating healthier diets, making better use of nutrition information on food labels, consuming more fiber and less cholesterol, and getting fewer calories from total fat and saturated fat, a federal government report says.

For the report, researchers analyzed data gathered from adults who took part in the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey between 2005 and 2010, and found that overall daily calorie intake fell by 78 calories per day during that time. Decreases were also seen in calories from total fat (about 3%) and saturated fat (just under 6%) and cholesterol intake (nearly 8%). Overall fiber intake rose by 1.2 grams (7.5%) a day, according to the report released Jan. 16 by the USDA's Economic Research Service.

The report also found that people are more likely to want and to use nutrition information about their food. When making food choices, 42% of working-age adults and 57% of older adults said they used the Nutrition Facts panel on food labels most or all of the time. And 76% of working-age adults said they would use nutrition information in restaurants if it was available. The researchers also uncovered changing attitudes about food and nutrition. The proportion of working-age adults who believe they have the ability to change their body weight rose 3% from 2007–2010.

"When individuals believe that their actions directly affect their body weight, they might be more inclined to make healthier food choices," report author Jessica Todd said in the news release.

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