U.S. Food Consumption and Obesity, Part 1 of 2
G. Douglas Andersen, DC, DACBSP, CCN
Volume 21, number
7, 3/24/03, page 50
In developed nations, especially in the U.S., obesity
has increased at an alarming rate in the past decade. In their book, Advanced Human Nutrition, Wildman and Medeiros1 state that consumption surveys (in particular, the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey - NHANES) indicate that the amount of daily calories consumed by Americans has slightly decreased in the previous decade. This theme is echoed in many popular weight-loss books currently on the market; however, it is an idea that yours truly has found difficult to swallow.
Most people do not realize that when they order a Big Mac, medium fries and a medium drink, they are about to consume 1,250 calories, including 56 grams of fat and 1,380 milligrams of sodium.3 When a person requests a super-size soft drink and fries, the calories total 1,610.3 (This does not count the ketchup used on the fries.) Across the street at Burger King, a regular Whopper without cheese, a medium soda and medium fries contains 1,270 calories and 57 grams of fat;3 make it a double Whopper with cheese, large fries and a large drink, and the totals are a whopping (no pun intended) 2,050 calories, 95 grams of fat and 2,600 milligrams of sodium!3
Estimating food consumption by food disappearance statistics is accomplished as follows: Production is added to beginning stocks and total imports, and farm use, industrial use, exports, and ending stocks are subtracted. Disappearance data includes spoilage, spillage and waste. Thus, the actual amounts people consume are less. One lengthy USDA document4 includes in-depth disappearance data statistics on the types and amounts of food consumed from 1970 to 1997 in the United States. Also included is a macronutrient breakdown of daily disappearance levels (per person) of protein, carbohydrate, fat and calories. These statistics are available from 1970 to 1994. These data can be easily compared and contrasted using the tables below. My next article will contain more tables, and go into greater detail on the specific types, categories and kinds of food that have been "disappearing" in the United States.
1. Wildman RE, Medeiros
DM. Advanced Human Nutrition. Boca Raton: CRC Press, 2000.
E. Imperial Hwy.
Copyright 2004, G. Douglas Andersen, DC, DACBSP, CCN, 916 E. Imperial Hwy, Brea, CA 92821, (714) 990-0824