There’s no precise way to measure calorie consumption across a general population, but according to several major data sources which track trends in the United States, American calorie consumption is declining.
Barry Popkin, a University of North Carolina professor who has studied food data extensively, described the development as a “turning point.” There is no single moment when American attitudes toward eating changed, but researchers point to a 1999 study as a breakthrough. That year, researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a paper in The Journal of the American Medical Association that turned into something of a blockbuster.
In the intervening years the anti-obesity public health campaigns have focused on one subject more than any other: beverages. This seems to be working. Soda consumption in the US has fallen from an average of 40 gallons per year per American in 1998 to 30 gallons/person/year in 2014. Interestingly, that 30 gallon average is the same rate of soda consumption in 1980, when the obesity rates started to climb. Though food trends haven’t radically changed — the drop in soda consumption isn’t accompanied by a rise in vegetable consumption, for instance — this is a clear stop in the right direction. Read more…
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