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Americans eating healthier now than in 2000?

The obsesity rate has risen from 30.5% in 2000 to over 43% now and people are eating healthier? Sure! I smell a rate.


Americans are eating healthier, but income is still a major factor

The largest improvements were seen among younger adults, women, Hispanic adults, and people with higher levels of income

By Bruce Gil, Quartz Media

PublishedYesterday


The precent of American adults with a poor diet quality fell 11% to 37.4% in 2020, from 48.8% in 1999.


The quality of food Americans are consuming has improved significantly over the past two decades, but many disparities still exist across demographics, according to a new study published Monday in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine.


Researchers from Tufts University analyzed the diet quality of adults who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey between 1999 and 2020. The nationally representative survey asked respondents to report the food and beverages they consumed in the previous day.


The participants’ diets were then compared with the American Heart Association’s continuous diet score, which is based on a person’s intake of fruits, vegetables, seeds, sugary drinks and processed meat.


The percent of adults with a poor diet quality fell from 48.8% in 1999 to 37.4% in 2020. The percent of people with an intermediate diet quality increased from 50.6% to 61.1%. And the proportion of adults with an ideal diet rose from 0.7% to 1.6%.


The largest improvements were seen among younger adults, women, Hispanic adults, and people with higher levels of income. Comparatively, older adults, men, Black adults and people with less income saw less improvements in the past 20 years.


Looking specifically at income, the study found that the percent of Americans with a lower income and poor diet fell from 52% to 47%. By comparison, the percent of Americans with a higher income and poor diet fell from 45% to 30%.


Disparities like this one are important to understand, considering that over a million Americans die from diet-related diseases every year, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.


“We believe it is imperative to understand the trends and disparities in diet quality in the United States and address the potential disparities by population subgroups to promote health equity and human well-being,” Junxiu Liu, one of the study’s authors, told UPI.

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