Posted January 23, 2014
A new report from the USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) shows that American adults are choosing healthier foods, using available nutrition information, consuming fewer calories from fat and saturated fat, consuming less cholesterol and eating more fiber.  The USDA news release is available here.  Food Navigator-USA also reported on the story here.
The report, “Changes in Eating Patterns and Diet Quality Among Working-Age Adults, 2005-2010,” used individual dietary intake data for 9,839 working-age adults from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). 
Researchers found that dietary intake declined by 78 calories per day.  Calories from total fat declined 3.3 percent, saturated fat 5.9 percent, and cholesterol 7.9 percent.
Researchers also found that 42 percent of working-age adults and 57 percent of older adults reported using the Nutrition Facts Panel most or all of the time when making food choices.  When asked about nutrition information in restaurants, “76 percent of working-age adults reported that they would use the information if it were available.”
“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 report noted that reduced consumption of food away from home (restaurants and fast food) accounted for 20 percent of the improvements in diet quality.  In addition, the report “indicates a changing attitude toward food and nutrition.”


For more information on food labeling, please visit the National Agricultural Law Center’s website here.