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NewsBites February 2016 Issue

Uptick Reported in Healthier Dietary Choices

Americans are eating healthier - resulting in an estimated 1.1 million fewer premature deaths since 1999 - but still have a long way to go. That’s the conclusion of a study of national nutritional survey data on 33,885 US adults, published in the journal Health Affairs. Researchers found that average scores on the Alternate Healthy Eating Index improved from 39.9 in 1999 to 48.2 in 2012. But they noted that the scale goes to 110, so there’s plenty of room for further improvement.

About half the better scores could be attributed to reductions in the amount of trans fats in the typical US diet. Other gains included declines in consumption of red meat and sugary beverages and increases in intake of fruits, whole grains and polyunsaturated fats. Sodium intake rose slightly, while there was little change in consumption of vegetables, omega-3 fats and alcohol.

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