What’s in Your Diet?

by Dennis Machicao

There have been recent encouraging statistics that show Americans are starting to get it as far as their diets are concerned. There is progress as to the awareness of what foods are good for you and what foods to avoid in order to live a longer and healthier life. Implementation of that knowledge is lagging somewhat, but it is improving. At least there is awareness.

In an article written by Justin McCarthy stating the statistics of a Gallup Poll, it seems that Americans, two thirds of them (63%), are avoiding soda in their dietary intake, up from 41% in 2002 and half of the populous eliminate sugar. Although the former mayor of New York City, Michael Blumenthal, tried to ban large sizes of sodas and failed, it seems that at least he was on the right track. In Connecticut and other states, they are trying to tax sodas all in an effort to lower individuals sugar intakes, especially children.

The Gallop Poll further shows that 92% of Americans include fruits in their diet and 93% include vegetables. This is an up swing from previous years.  The report also shows that about 45% of individuals make an attempt to include organic foods that are now more readily available in local neighborhood stores, although 38% do not consider them or avoid buying them. Which is a much higher percentage than other types of foods that are avoided.

Interestingly, although there is a high percentage of sugar avoidance, peoples’ intake of salt has not changed since 2002. The major source of protein for Americans is chicken and other poultry followed by fish and other sources of seafood and lastly by beef and other red meats. This proportion has not changed since 2002. There are certain people that do avoid these category sources of  protein in their diet, 5%, 9%, 22% respectfully.

It seems that grains and dairy products have increased with seven out of ten of us including them in our diets. Also interestingly, the avoidance of grains spiked times 2 between 2002 and 2004.  But that percentage of avoidance has remained the same since then.  And the inclusion of dairy products has also remained the same. The report also indicated that 41% include carbs and 29% avoid them in their diets.

So, it seems that Americans’ awareness of avoiding sodas and sugar has increased dramatically in the past years, the use of salt has remained the same and grains have gained importance in the everyday diet. Awareness of the importance of fruits and vegetables has risen, but the jury is still out if that awareness in implemented in the daily diet.

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