US Diet Still Lacks Quality and Healthy Foods

“Despite observed improvements, important dietary challenges remain.”


Americans are consuming too much white bread, butter, sugar, hot dogs, fatty beef and snacks.

In the United States, people are still eating foods that are not healthy enough, according to a new study published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

However, it has been found that US diets are a bit less sweet and crunchier than before.

Researchers said there has been a mild improvement in the US diets over 16 years. They found that the healthy eating index jumped from 56 to 58, which hardly calls for a celebration because 100 is the top score.

Study co-author Fang Fang Zhang from Tufts University said, “Diets are still too heavy on foods that can contribute to heart disease, diabetes, obesity and other prevalent U.S. health problems.”

The researchers examined more than 44,000 adults through the U.S. government health survey conducted from 1999 to 2016.

They wrote, “Despite observed improvements, important dietary challenges remain.”

Although the participants were found to eat more unhealthy fats, one of the biggest changes was a mild drop in sugar intake. Another change that researchers noted was a small dip in salt intake and fruit juice intake.

The study listed food groups instead of individual foods; for instance, ‘refined grains,’ not white and ‘whole grains,’ not oatmeal. However, Zhang noted that these two foods are the most common grains found in the US diet.

According to the US dietary guidelines, it is important to follow a ‘healthy eating pattern’ to decrease the risk of developing chronic medical conditions such as heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, and high cholesterol.

You should mainly focus on foods rich in nutrients, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products. Plus, you can add a variety of proteins sources such as lean meats, seafood, eggs, poultry, nuts and seeds. The researchers also found that the US diabetes rates and obesity rates increased during the study years. The said more than 70 percent of Americans are overweight or obese, while heart disease remained as the leading cause of death.