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How America Eats

April 29, 1988

Report Outline
Special Focus

Introduction

Americans' eating habits are full of contradictions. We are aware of the health risks of certain foods and have cut our consumption of the most obvious ones. But we are still eating too much fat, too much cholesterol and too much sugar. Are we simply cheating, or are we genuinely confused about what we should eat? The problem may be as much with the way we live as with what we eat.

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Overview

After centuries of struggling to place the symbols of affluence on the table, Americans are being told that their bodies cannot survive a rich man's diet. The ideal diet, medical experts say today, would be closer to that of our caveman ancestors—heavy on plant food with occasional infusions of lean meat.

Consumer surveys show that many Americans are aware of the health risks of fat, cholesterol and sugar. Concerned consumers even say they are cutting back on the most obvious sources of fat and sugar, such as red meat and desserts. But often the diets of those who say they are cutting back are no different from those who say they have made no changes. Although some changes in American eating habits seem in line with health recommendations, others stand out as stark contradictions. Dove Bars, which contain double the butterfat of traditional ice creams, compete with yogurt as one of the fastest growing food products in the nation.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Nutrition and Health
Oct. 01, 2010  Preventing Obesity
Apr. 07, 2006  Rising Health Costs
Feb. 10, 2006  Eating DisordersUpdated
Sep. 03, 2004  Dietary Supplements
Jan. 31, 2003  Obesity Epidemic
Feb. 23, 2001  Diet and Health
Jan. 15, 1999  Obesity and Health
Sep. 26, 1997  Youth Fitness
Apr. 14, 1995  Dieting and Health
Dec. 18, 1992  Eating Disorders
Nov. 06, 1992  Physical Fitness
Jul. 31, 1992  Infant Mortality
Oct. 25, 1991  World Hunger
Mar. 16, 1990  Public-Health Campaigns: Do They Go Too Far?
Apr. 29, 1988  How America Eats
Sep. 06, 1985  Anorexia and Other Eating Disorders
May 18, 1984  Dining in America
Aug. 26, 1983  Staying Healthy
Nov. 19, 1982  Weight Control: A National Obsession
Oct. 17, 1980  Caffeine Controversy
Apr. 14, 1978  Physical Fitness Boom
Jun. 17, 1977  Obesity and Health
Feb. 22, 1974  Heart Research
Aug. 01, 1973  Nutrition in America
Dec. 02, 1970  Infant Health
Nov. 15, 1967  Overweight and Health
Aug. 10, 1966  Dental Health
Jul. 13, 1966  Prolongation of Life
May 09, 1962  Outdoor Recreation
Nov. 26, 1958  Dieting and Health
Jul. 13, 1949  Recreation for Millions
May 13, 1941  Nutrition and National Health
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Nutrition
Obesity and Weight Control
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