What's Contributing to Obesity? Oils, Meat, Cheese, Ice Cream
An increase in childhood obesity reflects increased intake of oils, meat, cheese, and frozen desserts, according to a new PCRM study that will be published next month in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Neal Barnard, M.D., looked at food availability data maintained by the U.S. Department of Agriculture from 1909 to 2007. Oil intake increased from 35 pounds to more than 86 pounds per person per year. Meat intake rose from 123 pounds to more than 200 pounds per person per year (with a greater than six fold increase in chicken and turkey intake alone). In 2007, Americans also ate nine times more cheese and 16 times more frozen desserts than they did in 1909. Since 1970 (no prior data available), sweetener consumption doubled, mostly from carbonated beverages. Other long-term trends include decreased grain consumption, decreased fluid milk consumption, and increased fruit (mostly juices) and vegetable intake.