The NY Times posted an article late last week titles "Americans Are Finally Eating Less" and the following description: "After rising for decades, calorie consumption has declined in recent years as public attitudes have shifted." Naturally, I was curious, so I gave it a read.
You can read for yourself, but the main points made in the article are pretty much the following:
- Calories consumed daily by the average American is on a sustained decline from a peak back in 2003. This is the first time this has happened since the gov't began tracking this 40 years ago.
- The average number of calories consumed by American children daily has fallen by about 9%
- The amount of soda consumed (full calorie, doesn't count diet/sugar free) has gone down by 25% since the early 1990s.
- Kids are drinking less sugar sweetened beverages, but all other categories remain similar.
- While the number of calories is down, the food groups that are being consumed remains largely the same, AKA still eating unhealthy foods.
Now, I'm not going to share anything else from that article because beyond what I've share, it just goes into a lot of theories that bring me back to the old adage: correlation does not equal causation. There's a lot of "experts say that this is because of the focus on childhood obesity in the media" etc etc, but I saw no real proof.
I can't help but think that the availability of calorie information (via apps like MyFitnessPal or because restaurants have to show you the calorie values on the menu now) is really the reasons people are eating less calories. They didn't know how many they were eating before, they do now, awareness pushes it down.
Whether or not that actually means Americans are eating "healthier" and becoming "less obese" like many comments on this article tried to claim....well I"m not sure I believe that just yet.