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Report Finds Americans Consuming Fewer Calories

Update Date: Jan 18, 2014 12:05 AM EST

According to the latest report compiled by the United States' Department of Agriculture (USDA), Americans are making healthier food choices and consuming fewer calories. With the obesity epidemic still at large, this report suggests that the war against obesity could be progressing forward.

In this report, the researchers examined data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The survey collected data on eating habits from a nationally representative sample of nearly 10,000 people between 2005 and 2010. They found that working-age adults ate an average of 78 fewer calories in 2010 when compared to the amount of calories they ate in 2005. Not only are adults eating fewer calories, the researchers found that adults were making healthier choices.

The researchers calculated that there was a six percent reduction in saturated fat consumption. Meanwhile, fiber consumption rose by eight percent. Fiber, which is abundant in food fruits, vegetables and whole grains, keeps the body full for longer periods of time. The researchers believe that the reduction in calories consumed could be due to the recession from 2007 to 2009. The researchers found that during this time span, people ate out less and spent 12.9 percent less on foods from fast-food stores and restaurants. The researchers also reported that 42 percent of working adults and 57 percent of seniors have been using the Nutrition Facts Panel more often.

"We are pleased to hear that this study finds improvements in several key areas of the American diet," said Michael R. Taylor, deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). "FDA will soon propose an updated Nutrition Facts label designed to provide information that will make it even easier for people to make healthy choices."

The researchers added that television shows, such as the Biggest Loser and anti-obesity programs at the work place could also be responsible for the recent surge in healthy eating. If this trend continues to grow, Americans could be heading toward an overall healthier state.

"The Obama Administration is working hard to empower the American public to make smart choices every day at school, at home and in their communities," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "We have made significant progress, but our work is not done. We will continue to invest in critical programs that expand the availability of healthy, safe, affordable food for all Americans."

The report can be accessed here.

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