NPD, a consumer marketing research firm has recently published its 28th annual Eating Patterns in America Report. The findings appear cautiously optimistic as the authors found a few positive trends:
- The rate of obesity seems to be leveling off, after rising continually until 2011
- People are consuming more fruit. It went from #5 in 2003 up to the #2 spot today
- People are consuming less juice. This is important because fiber and many other nutrients in fruit go AWOL when it is turned into juice. Fruit is more satiating too.
The top ten foods we consume account for 50% of our food intake:
- carbonated soft drinks
- salty snacks
- fruit juice
- cold cereal
1. While fruits and vegetables rank high, a Big Mac is also hiding in the top 10, with Sandwiches including burgers (and hot dogs) at the number one spot, colas at number 4, and fries at 7.
2. Additionally, the data collected may be skewed too positive. People today are much more aware of what they should be eating compared to 10 years ago. The data NPD is showing is based on what people reported, and there is a tendency to report more positively when that is the expectation.
There is still much work to do to get this country back on track to health through food; but this report is a glimmer of hope.