Is the American obesity epidemic reaching a standstill?

ImageA recent federal analysis suggests that American children are consuming fewer calories now than they did a decade ago. The magnitude of the decrease is not significant enough to indicate any real progress with the obesity epidemic, but obesity does seem to have reached a plateau in America. Furthermore, fast food is a decreasing source of calories.

Calorie consumption dropped by 7 percent per day for boys and 4 percent per day for girls over the past ten years. Researchers hope that this modest decline indicates a larger, national shift in the future.  The biggest decline in calorie count came in the form of decreased carbohydrate consumption. However, both carbohydrate and general calorie consumption decreased more among white and black boys than Hispanic boys, and more among white girls than any other group.

Fast food makes up an increasingly smaller portion of adults’ daily diets. In 2010 fast food made up 11.3 percent of adults’ daily caloric intake. This shows a decline from 12.8 percent in 2006. However, these percentages are different for different demographic groups. More than 20 percent of blacks’ daily caloric intake comes from fast food, the highest of any group. In contrast, less than 6 percent of older peoples’ (over 60) daily calorie intake comes from fast food, the lowest of any group. Changes are far from consistent across demographic groups, but the general trend indicates a decrease in obesity rates in America.



Written by Alice Metz.


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