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NewsBites March 2013 Issue

Less Fat, More Fast Food in US Diet

We’re consuming less fat but eating out more than in the 1970s, according to a good news/bad news report from the USDA’s Economic Research Service. The comparison of food-consumption patterns from 2005-2008 versus 1977-1978 found that Americans are averaging about 10 grams less fat intake per day, 75.2 grams versus 85.6 grams. The percentage of calories from fat also declined, to 33.4% from 39.7%. Also on the positive side, we’re getting more calcium—an average 919 milligrams daily, up from 743 milligrams in the 1970s. Almost a third (31.6%) of cal-ories now are consumed out-side the home, up from just 17.7% in the 1970s, however, with negative consequences for healthy eating: Foods in restaurants and fast-food outlets contributed more saturated fat and sodium and less dietary fiber to the average diet, compared to meals at home.

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