LSU AgCenter Nutritionist Finds Fat Facts Show Trend

Elizabeth S. Reames  |  4/22/2005 12:43:55 AM

News You Can Use For March 2005

Research shows that Americans have consumed more calories over the past 30 years. "This may be one of the major reasons for the increase in overweight and obesity," says LSU AgCenter nutritionist Dr. Beth Reames.

"If you eat 100 more food calories a day than you burn, you’ll gain about 1 pound in a month. That’s about 10 pounds in a year!" the nutritionist asserts.

A study from the Centers for Disease Control looked at dietary survey information from four National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys from 1971 to 2000 to learn more about Americans' eating habits. The CDC study found that women increased their caloric intake by 22 percent and men by 7 percent during that time. During those years, the prevalence of obesity in the United States increased from 14.5 percent to 30.9 percent.

The study reported that energy (calorie) intake had increased, the percentage of calories from carbohydrate had increased and the percentage of calories from total fat and saturated fat had decreased.

Also, there was an increase in carbohydrate intake, with a 62.4-gram increase among women and a 67.7-gram increase among men. Total fat intake in grams increased among women by 6.5 grams and decreased among men by 5.3 grams.

In related survey data, the USDA found that factors contributing to the increase in energy intake in the United States are consumption of food away from home, increased portion sizes and increased energy consumption from salty snacks, soft drinks and pizza.

The LSU AgCenter offers a healthy weight program called Portions, developed by a team of LSU AgCenter Extension agents and registered dietitians.

"Portions provides information on nutrition, physical activity and eating habits to help people adopt healthier lifestyles," Reames says.

For additional information about Portions, contact the extension agent in your parish. For information on related nutrition, family and consumer topics, visit the FCS Web site at


On the Internet: LSU AgCenter:
Source: Beth Reames (225) 578-3929, or

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