by Marion Nestle
Jan 13 2014

What are Americans eating?

I’ve only just come across this USDA chart, which first appeared in an article in Amber Waves.

USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) researchers looked at 1998-2006 grocery store food expenditures and compared what consumers buy to dietary guidelines for healthy eating.  

Oops.  

Comments

Nicely quantifies what I see in the supermarket. Normally, I think of fast food as the toxic food environment, but it’s also all the goodies (most of the calories) in the shopping cart. If it’s constant temptation, then the average person is not going to win. All over the world.

What is your point here? Do you think we should be listening to the USDA more? Even though they recommend a significant amount of refined grains (unhealthy in any amount) and recommend no eggs (free range eggs are among the healthiest foods available to us)? What does “oops” mean?

Grains are bad? Eggs are good? Oops, I’m eating the other way around.

  • Brian Klein
  • January 14, 2014
  • 12:42 am

I find this interesting because if more people actually followed the USDA’s guidelines, we really would be healthier overall as a nation. Mainly because of the amount of refined grain, sugar, frozen meal and beverage consumption. Even though I think the USDA’s guidelines are not the best guidelines, they are certainly better then what people are actually eating.

I think she mentioned “refined grains”, which ARE unhealthful in any amount. As far as eggs among the best foods, I too would like a clarification, even though I agree that free-range anything is by far better than commercially produced alternatives.

I eat so-called “whole-wheat”, which is pretty refined. Only way to make a sandwich.

  • Elise Gerber
  • January 14, 2014
  • 11:59 am

I find this hilarious! Notice the items that are mostly advertised on T.V. are the ones that are consumed the most? Great find Marion! Thank you for sharing.

  • Leoluca Criscione
  • January 15, 2014
  • 2:32 am

…and keep in mind that “calories count” is related to the OWN PERSONAL METABOLIC RATE and daily caloric need… …otherwise we end up by eating “healthy” and dying obese” http://www.vitasanas.ch/?page_id=368 best regards from Swirtzerland

If you look at the chart, there is actually a distinction between “refined grains” and “whole grains”. I imagine, by the former they mean donuts, burger buns and other non-sense that Americans and Canadians consume in excess. None of it should even be recommended.

I agree that store-bought “whole-grain” bread is often far from healthful; that’s why I bake my own. Plus, “whole grains” also probably include actual grains, not just bread, that can be consumed whole (like wild rice, etc).

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