Cheese Consumption hits All-Time High; Americans Still Consuming Too Much Beef & Soda Despite Declines, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI)
I’m sure it comes as no surprise to regular readers that the CSPI gives a barely passing grade to the quantity and quality of food we are consuming.
Americans are eating too much of everything, and it’s not just how much, but what we eat, that needs work, according to a report card on the changing American diet published today in Nutrition Action Healthletter. The average American consumes about 2,500 calories per day, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates. That’s up from about 2,000 calories a day in the 1970s. (my emphasis)
(Ed. note: CSPI is hosting a quiz about America’s Changing Diet. Take it now, if you like, since spoilers follow.)
CSPI gave the American diet a D+ in the category of Meat, Poultry, & Seafood. Chicken began edging out beef starting in 2004 but Americans still eat more red meat (beef plus pork, lamb, and veal) than white meat. Red meats, especially processed meats like bacon, ham, hot dogs, and sausage, raise the risk of colon cancer, heart disease, and stroke. (my emphasis)
CSPI gave Americans’ Fruit & Vegetable consumption a B-. It’s clear that Americans are ignoring experts’ advice to fill half their plates with vegetables and fruits. Vegetable consumption (minus white potatoes) climbed in the late 1980s but has been inching down since that time. Fruit (minus juice) has been fairly flat.
CSPI gave Americans’ diet a C- on Grains, since we’re still eating far more (mostly white) flour in bagels, buns, tortillas, muffins, cupcakes, doughnuts, cookies, pasta, and pizza crust than in the 1970s. And although soft drinks—and added sugars—are down from their peak, CSPI issued a D+ on Beverages because sodas (which are mostly sugary, not diet) are still the dominant beverage. For more on this see my Page – What’s wrong with soft drinks?