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Dynamic Chiropractic – May 17, 1999, Vol. 17, Issue 11
Dynamic Chiropractic
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Dynamic Chiropractic

American Food

By G. Douglas Andersen, DC, DACBSP, CCN

It has been no secret that the standard American diet (SAD) is less than optimal. Unfortunately, many countries are starting to pick up some of our bad habits. The U.S. Department of Agriculture keeps statistics on the amount of food sold in this country each year. Based on sales, consumption statistics are calculated. This data is generally slightly higher than actual values, the result of factors such as loss, waste, spoilage, not consuming everything purchased, and not finishing everything prepared. Unfortunately, the categories that contain the greatest overestimates are those foods that have a shorter shelf life, i.e., fruits and vegetables.

The following numbers are estimates per person per year:

Sweetened Beverages (includes soda and sweetened fruit drinks)

1970: 25 gallons
1997: 61 gallons

Beer

1970: 28 gallons
1997: 32 gallons

Fruit Juice

1970: 5 1/2 gallons
1997: 9 1/2 gallons

Bottled Water

1970: trace
1997: 13 1/2 gallons

Coffee

1970: 34 gallons
1997: 24 gallons

Tea

1970: 6 gallons
1997: 7 gallons

Sugars(including table sugar, high fructose corn syrup, dextrose, and honey)

1970: 121 pounds
1997: 154 pounds

Beef

1970: 80 pounds
1997: 64 pounds

Chicken

1970: 28 pounds
1997: 51 pounds

Turkey

1970: 8 pounds
1997: 14 pounds

Pork

1970: 49 pounds
1997: 49 pounds

Fish (including shellfish)

1970: 11 pounds
1997: 14 pounds

Flour (white, wheat)

1970: 104 pounds
1997: 138 pounds

Flour (other grains)

1970: 11 pounds
1997: 23 pounds

Flour (pasta)

1970: 6 pounds
1997: 13 pounds

Oats

1970: 5 pounds
1997: 7 pounds

Rice

1970: 6 pounds
1997: 20 pounds

Eggs

1970: 310
1997: 243

Whole Milk

1970: 25 gallons
1997: 8 gallons

Low-Fat Milk (2%)

1970: 3 gallons
1997: 8 gallons

Low-Fat Milk (1%)

1970: trace
1997: 2 gallons

Nonfat Milk

1970: 1 gallon
1997: 4 gallons

Cheese

1970: 11 pounds
1997: 28 pounds

Ice Cream

1970: 18 pounds
1997: 16 pounds

Yogurt

1970: 1/2 pound
1997: 5 pounds

Low-Fat Ice Cream

1970: 8 pounds
1997: 8 pounds

Fresh Vegetables (except potatoes)

1970: 90 pounds
1997: 138 pounds

Fresh Fruit

1970: 100 pounds
1997: 133 pounds

Fresh Potatoes

1970: 61 pounds
1997: 49 pounds

Beans

1970: 5 pounds
1997: 6 1/2 pounds

Canned, Dried and Frozen Fruit

1970: 41 pounds
1997: 35 pounds

Frozen Vegetables (except potatoes)

1970: 15 pounds
1997: 22 pounds

Canned Vegetables

1970: 100 pounds
1997: 106 pounds

Frozen Potatoes

1970: 29 pounds
1997: 59 pounds

Butter

1970: 5 pounds
1997: 5 pounds

Margarine

1970: 10 1/2 pounds
1997: 9 pounds

Salad and Cooking Oil

1970: 15 pounds
1997: 28 pounds

Shortening

1970: 17 pounds
1997: 21 pounds

Total fat consumption peaked in 1993 at 70 pounds. Total beef consumption peaked in 1977 at 90 pounds. Sugars, soft drinks, cheese, fresh fruits and fresh vegetables all hit new highs in 1997.

When reviewing the numbers, it is nice to see we are eating more of what we should eat (fresh fruits and vegetables). Unfortunately, we are also eating more of what we shouldn't eat. Further analysis also reveals a tremendous increase in total calories and exceptional opportunities for 21st century entrepreneurs to figure out how to suppress man's genetic drive to overindulge.

Resources

Liebman B. The changing American diet. Nutrition Action Health Letter April 1999.


Click here for more information about G. Douglas Andersen, DC, DACBSP, CCN.

Dynamic Chiropractic

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