Nutrition in America

August 1, 1973

Report Outline
Growing Concern About Proper Nutrition
Effect of Changing Life Styles on Diet
Nutrition Outlook: Foods of the Future
Special Focus

Growing Concern About Proper Nutrition

Effect of High Food Prices on Dietary Habits

Rising food prices are causing many Americans to take a second look at traditional ideas about proper nutrition. Nine years ago, the American Medical Association (AMA) was recommending three or more servings of meat and at least four servings of fruits and vegetables each day. As the cost of such a diet becomes increasingly prohibitive, people are considering less expensive ways of getting the vital nutrients: proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals. Retail food prices, as measured on the Consumer Price Index, have risen 13.7 per cent in the past year, 10.2 per cent since January.

Public discontent about high food prices has centered on meat, especially beef, which accounts for 25 to 30 per cent of the average grocery bill. Beef, alone among all food items, remains temporarily under price controls but they are due to be lifted Sept. 12. There is every indication that food prices will surge upward for the remainder of the year and that meat will become less plentiful. The American Meat Institute estimated in July that the 1973 production of beef and poultry might drop 2 per cent and pork production 3 per cent below last year's levels. The institute calculated that the per capita consumption of red meat—beef, pork, veal, lamb and mutton —would be the lowest in six years, down to 183 pounds from 189 in 1972. It would be the biggest yearly drop on record.

“For Americans, soaring food prices and the prospect of sometimes empty meat counters in the months ahead have come as a shock,” agricultural expert Lester R. Brown wrote recently. “If there was any sector in our economy which we thought was invulnerable, it was the capacity of U.S. agriculture to provide consumers with an adequate supply of low-cost food. Suddenly this is no longer possible. A dollar devaluated as much as a third over the past 20 months against major currencies such as the German mark and the Japanese yen is enabling two-thirds of a billion high-income consumers in Europe, the Soviet Union and Japan to compete very successfully for our…agricultural raw materials.”'

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Nutrition and Health
Jul. 07, 2017  Hunger in America
Oct. 30, 2015  Dietary Supplements
Aug. 08, 2014  Global Hunger
Oct. 01, 2010  Preventing Obesity
Apr. 07, 2006  Rising Health Costs
Feb. 10, 2006  Eating Disorders Updated
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
Jul. 08, 1994  Dietary Supplements
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
Consumer Behavior