Yet Another Study Points to Obesity

Elizabeth S. Reames  |  10/4/2004 4:26:49 AM

Americans consumed more calories over a 30 year period from 1971 - 2000. This points to the increase in overweight and obesity in the United States, says LSU AgCenter nutritionist Dr. Beth Reames.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) study looked at dietary survey information from 1971 to 2000 to learn more about Americans' eating habits. Reames says the study found that women increased their caloric intake by 22 percent and men by 7 percent during that time. During these 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 increased, percentage of calories from carbohydrate increased and percentage of calories from total fat and saturated fat decreased.

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 g and decreased among men by 5.3 g.

Reames examined USDA survey data and found that factors contributing to the increase in energy intake in the United States include consumption of food away from home, increased energy consumption from salty snacks, soft drinks and pizza, and larger portions.

The nutritionist has been aware for some time of the national obesity problem. She was one of the key developers of an LSU AgCenter healthy weight program called Smart Portions, which provides information on nutrition, physical activity and eating habits to help people adopt healthier lifestyles.

For additional information about Smart Portions and educational programs in related areas of family and consumer sciences, contact an extension agent in your parish LSU AgCenter office.

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