There's still plenty of room for improvement, but a recent survey reveals some hopeful trends in our eating habits. Nutrition Diva takes a closer look.
What We're Eating: The Good News
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Healthy foods are hot! We're all eating more yogurt, hummus, and beans than we used to. In just the last five years, the number of people who eat kale has gone up by 500%!
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We're getting the message about sugar. Just 12% of us usually have dessert after dinner today, compared with 24% in 1986. We are eating more fresh fruit and less cake. We're also drinking less soda.
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- We’re eating out less and cooking more: The average number of meals eaten in restaurants over the course of a year went from 215 in 2000, to 191 in 2014. We're preparing 80% of our meals at home. Even better, 58% of the main dishes we prepare at home are made from scratch.
That may actually be the best news of all. Not that I have anything against restaurants! I love eating out. But, as Michael Pollan argues in his latest book, "Cooked," regularly cooking and eating meals at home together not only improves our nutrition, it also strengthens our relationships with each other.
Kids who eat at home with their families get better grades and are less likely to be obese and/or suffer from eating disorders. Cooking is also a really fun thing to do with kids--and an invaluable life skill to teach them.
Keep up the Good Work!
Obviously, there's still work to do. But I am encouraged by these trends! And it seems as if we're starting to bend the curve a bit on obesity--especially childhood obesity. Let's keep the momentum going!
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