The American Diet: More Calories

Snacking Hundreds of Calories a Day

Yesterday I was watching Good Morning America and the first full story I saw was about the change in the American Diet. It turns out that as a nation, we’re eating many more calories on a daily basis. How much?

Americans eat roughly 570 calories more per day than they did in the 1970s, according to a new study. While supersize portions are partly to blame, steady snacking is the bigger culprit.

My first suspicion was portion size, so I was surprised that snacking was a bigger issue.

“It used to be you’d have three meals a day. And if you snacked, it was unsweetened tea or coffee,” said Popkin. “Nowadays, everywhere you turn there’s food. If you’re driving, you have a big bag of Doritos next to you while you drive.”

I didn’t really know that tidbit about previous diets. Growing up, we always had snacks available. Many times it was stuff like graham crackers with peanut butter, crackers and cheese, or popsicles.  Soft drinks weren’t an option at our house unless people brought it over for a get together. We also could only have a certain amount, so as to not spoil our dinner.

apple for snacks

The heavy stuff – cookies, cakes, and ice cream was reserved for dessert. The rule was we had to finish a majority of dinner before we allowed to even ask for dessert. How many of you grew up with similar rules?

Obesity on the Rise

As far as the study mentioned in GMA, here are the consequence mentioned:

More than one-quarter of adults in the United States are obese, according to a 2010 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — a proportion that has steadily grown over the past 30 years as Americans tend to “eat more and do less,” said Dr. David Katz, director of the Yale University Prevention Research Center.

How about you? Have you noticed a change in your eating habits? If you snack, how do you keep from packing on the pounds? What are some of your low calories snacks?

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