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Don’t Supersize Me!

Apr. 1, 2013|662 views
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After many years of steadily climbing caloric intake among Americans, a promising, healthier new trend is finally emerging. According to a report in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, “energy intake” is finally on a downward trend in these United States. This means that after decades of increases in the amount of calories we consume, we may finally be on a path to more sensible consumption of calories. This can only be good news in a nation where up to two-thirds of the adult population is now overweight or obese.


To arrive at this encouraging conclusion, researchers examined data from years of national health studies. Known as NHANES (National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey), the surveys are the centerpiece of a program of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The comprehensive surveys of Americans’ nutritional habits and health status began in the early 1960s. They involve interviews with participants combined with physical examinations performed by physicians.


In the early 1970s, adults consumed, on average, about 1,955 calories per day. By 2003-2004, that number had increased to 2,269 calories. The steady rise in caloric intake was viewed as troubling, since it mirrored the rising obesity epidemic. By the time of the 2009-2010 survey, scientists noted “significant decreases in energy intake.” The trend may reflect the fact that Americans are finally curbing their intake of sugar-sweetened drinks. A 2011 study found that we’re finally consuming fewer sodas. And that’s a very good thing.


Ford ES, Dietz WH. Trends in energy intake among adults in the United States: findings from NHANES. Am J Clin Nutr. 2013 Apr;97(4):848-53. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.112.052662. Epub 2013 Feb 20.


Welsh JA, Sharma AJ, Grellinger L, Vos MB. Consumption of added sugars is decreasing in the United States. Am J Clin Nutr. 2011 Sep;94(3):726-34. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.111.018366. Epub 2011 Jul 13.

Tags:  chemicals beware, cancer risks, chronic illness