Research-Based

Statistics On Nutrition – 19 Facts and Trends

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By Leslie Waterson

Reviewed by Juliana Tamayo, MS, RDN - Last Updated

statistics on nutrition

It is said that one should eat healthy in order to live a long and prosperous life. But what does that mean? And how do you know if you are eating healthy? This blog post will explore some statistics on nutrition in the United States.

Hopefully, it will provide some insight into what people are eating and how they could be changing their diets for the better. Stay tuned!

Why Eating Healthy is Important

Eating healthy is important for many reasons. It can help you maintain a healthy weight, have more energy, and avoid diseases. pay attention to these nutrition statistics to learn more.

statistics on nutrition eating healthy

Did you know that heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States?

Or that obesity rates have more than doubled in the past 30 years? Eating healthy can help you avoid these serious health problems.

A healthy diet includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and limits unhealthy foods like saturated fat, salt, and sugar. It’s also important to pay attention to portion sizes. You don’t need to completely eliminate all your favorite foods, but moderation is key.

By making healthier choices most of the time, you can enjoy a delicious and nutritious diet that will make you feel your best.

Nutrition Statistics – Highlights

  • Roughly 117 Americans suffer from at least one chronic disease caused by poor nutrition and inadequate exercise.
  • Since 1970, obesity rates among children have quadrupled and doubled among adults.
  • About 678,000 deaths per year in the United States are easily attributed to malnutrition and obesity.
  • Just 12% of American adults meet guidelines for daily fruit intake – and only 10% eat enough vegetables.
  • Roughly 149 million children around the world are showing stunted growth due to malnutrition.

Just 12% of American adults meet guidelines for daily fruit intake – and only 10% eat enough vegetables.

Source: USDA

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These healthy eating statistics are concerning, as vitamin and mineral deficiencies can lead to a variety of health problems.

statistics on nutrition eating watermelon

Furthermore, poor diet is a major contributing factor to chronic diseases such as obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. However, there is some good news: by making small changes to their lifestyle, people can significantly improve their health.

For example, adding an extra serving of fruit or vegetables each day can have a significant impact on vitamin and mineral intake. Additionally, cooking at home more often and choosing healthy options from a variety of food groups when eating out can help to improve diet quality and curb poor eating habits.

By making these simple changes, people can increase their fruit and vegetable intake and improve their overall health.

Added sugars are a major problem for Americans, with adults consuming up to 13% of their daily calories from added sugars.

Source: CDC

This is a major problem because consuming too much sugar can lead to weight gain and other health problems. Some of the health problems associated with consuming too much sugar include type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and tooth decay. Consuming too much sugar can also cause spikes in blood sugar levels, which can lead to fatigue and irritability.

There are many ways to cut down on added sugars in your diet. You can swap sugary drinks for water or unsweetened beverages, choose foods that are lower in sugar, and cook at home more often. Making these changes can help you live a healthier lifestyle.

Roughly 117 Americans suffer from at least one chronic disease caused by poor nutrition and inadequate exercise.

Source: Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion

Chronic diseases are defined as conditions that last for three months or more and require ongoing medical attention. Some common examples of chronic diseases include heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and arthritis. These diseases can be caused by many different factors, but poor diet and lack of exercise are two of the most significant.

Unhealthy foods are often high in saturated fat, sugar, and salt, which can lead to obesity and increased chances of developing chronic diseases. In contrast, healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are low in calories and rich in nutrients that help to protect the body against disease.

Additionally, regular exercise helps to maintain a healthy weight, lowers blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and improves overall cardiovascular health. Therefore, by eating healthy foods and exercising regularly, people can help to reduce their risk of developing chronic diseases.

More than 23 million Americans live in “food deserts.”

Source: US Department of Health and Human Services

The term “food desert” is used to describe an area where healthy food options are limited or unavailable. According to the USDA, more than 23 million Americans live in food deserts, most of them in low-income or rural areas.

Without access to healthy foods, people are more likely to develop diets that are high in calories but low in nutrients.

This can lead to a variety of health problems, including obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Food insecurity also takes a toll on households, contributing to stress and financial insecurity. In addition, the lack of healthy food options can lead to higher medical costs.

By increasing access to healthy foods, we can help reduce the burden of these problems.

A lack of farmer’s markets affects food availability and causes low food security in many areas.

Source: US Department of Agriculture

According to a report by the United States Department of Agriculture, 16.5 million households were food insecure at some point in 2018, meaning they lacked access to enough nutritious food for an active, healthy lifestyle. This is equivalent to about 1 in 8 households across the country.

statistics on nutrition farmer's markets

Many factors can contribute to food insecurity, but one significant factor is the lack of farmers’ markets in certain areas. Farmers’ markets provide fresh, locally-grown produce and other foods that might otherwise be difficult to obtain. They also help to support local farmers and create jobs in the community.

When farmers’ markets are not readily available, it can lead to a decrease in food availability and an increase in food insecurity.

90% of Americans consume too much sodium.

Source: FDA

The CDC recommends that Americans consume no more than 2,300 mg of sodium per day. However, the average American consumes over 3,400 mg of sodium each day. That’s more than 1,000 mg over the recommended limit. How did we get here? Well, a significant portion of the sodium in our diets comes from processed foods.

For example, a can of soup can have upwards of 1,000 mg of sodium. And even something as innocuous as a bagel can contain 600 mg of sodium. So it’s no wonder that most Americans are eating too much sodium. Although we may not realize it, all that extra sodium can have serious consequences for our health. High sodium intake is linked to high blood pressure, which can lead to heart disease and stroke.

So next time you’re reaching for processed food, take a moment to check the label for sodium content. Your heart will thank you.

Among US students, obesity is increasing at an alarming rate.

Source: NYU

This alarming trend is thought to be due to a number of factors, including poor diet and lack of exercise.

With more and more colleges offering dining plans and on-campus fitness facilities, students have fewer excuses than ever to eat right and stay active. However, many students still choose unhealthy foods and lead sedentary lifestyles.

As a result, they often gain weight during their college years and develop obesity-related health problems. By raising awareness of this issue, we can help to reverse the trend of rising obesity rates among college students.

Most Americans are unwilling to give up meat products and animal-based products entirely.

Source: Gallup Polls

For many people, meat is a key part of their diet and they are unwilling to give it up entirely. There are a number of reasons for this.

First, meat is a good source of protein and other nutrients that are essential for human health. Second, meat has a unique flavor that many people enjoy.

Finally, meat is very convenient – it is easy to find and easy to cook. For all these reasons, most Americans are unwilling to give up meat entirely. However, there are a growing number of people who are choosing to reduce their meat consumption for health, environmental, or ethical reasons.

Since 1970, obesity rates among children have quadrupled and doubled among adults.

Source: CDC

The rate of obesity among American children and teens has more than tripled in the last three decades. In fact, nearly one in five school-aged kids is now considered obese. This increase in obesity rates is concerning for a number of reasons.

statistics on nutrition obesity

Obese children are more likely to suffer from health problems like diabetes and high blood pressure, and they are also at increased risk for being overweight as adults. Additionally, obesity can lead to social and emotional difficulties, such as low self-esteem and bullying.

The good news is that there are steps that parents and caretakers can take to help prevent childhood obesity. Encouraging kids to be physically active and eat a healthy diet are both important ways to promote a healthy weight.

Additionally, teaching kids about the importance of a healthy lifestyle can help them make choices that will benefit their health now and in the future.

About 678,000 deaths per year in the United States are easily attributed to malnutrition and obesity.

Source: Center for Science in the Public Interest

That’s nearly one in every three deaths in the country. And the problem is only getting worse. CDC data shows that obesity rates have more than doubled over the past two decades among adults and children.

Overweight and obese individuals are at increased risk for a number of chronic health conditions, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and certain types of cancer. The good news is that making healthy lifestyle choices can help prevent these conditions.

Eating a healthy diet and being physically active can help you maintain a healthy weight, reduce your risk of chronic diseases, and improve your overall health. So, take care of yourself and make healthy choices today. It could save your life.

Roughly 149 million children around the world are showing stunted growth due to malnutrition.

Source: WHO

This quote highlights the devastating effects that malnutrition can have on young children. Malnutrition can stunt growth and development, and it can also lead to problems such as infections, anemia, and mental retardation. In severe cases, it can even be fatal. The good news is that malnutrition is preventable. By ensuring that children have access to nutritious food and clean water, we can help them to grow and thrive.

There are 1.5 billion vegetarians in the world.

Source: Economic and Social Research Institute and Vrije Universiteit

While there are many reasons why people may choose to become vegetarian, the most common motivation is a concern for animal welfare. Factory farming has caused immense suffering for billions of animals, and many people feel that they can no longer contribute to this system of cruelty by eating meat.

In addition, vegetarianism is often seen as a more sustainable form of eating, as it requires less land, water, and other resources to produce plant-based foods. As more people become aware of the environmental and ethical impacts of their food choices, it is likely that the number of vegetarians will continue to grow.

Vermonters are the best at eating five servings of vegetables four or more days per week – about 68% do.

Source: Gallup Polls

There are several possible explanations for this. Firstly, Vermont is home to a number of small family farms that produce fresh, local vegetables. Secondly, the state has several farmers’ markets and community gardens where residents can buy or pick their own produce.

statistics on nutrition vegetables

Finally, Vermont has a strong food culture that values healthy eating. This combination of factors makes it easier for Vermonters to eat the recommended amount of vegetables each week.

Bananas are the most popular fruit in the US, with potatoes and tomatoes being the most common vegetables.

Source: USDA

This is likely due to a combination of factors, including their affordability, versatility, and convenience. Bananas are a great source of dietary potassium and fiber and can be eaten on the go with little to no preparation.

Potatoes and tomatoes are also relatively cheap and easy to find, making them a staple in many American households.

In addition, both vegetables can be used in a variety of dishes, from gratins and stews to salads and sandwiches. Consequently, it is not surprising that potatoes and tomatoes are the two most popular vegetables in the United States.

More than 38% of the families in the US are experiencing very low food security as of 2020.

Source: American Journal of Public Health

This means that they lack reliable access to enough nutritious food to lead a healthy life. The COVID-19 pandemic has only made matters worse, as job losses and economic uncertainty have left many people struggling to afford basic necessities.

For families who were already struggling to make ends meet, the pandemic has pushed them into crisis. In addition to causing physical hunger, food insecurity can also lead to anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues. It is estimated that nearly 5 million children in the US live in households that struggle with food insecurity.

This is a serious problem that needs to be addressed. Given the immense human cost of food insecurity, it is clear that something needs to be done to improve the situation.

Only 21% of farmers’ markets accept SNAP benefits and 25.8% accept WIC coupons.

Source: Advances in Nutrition

This means that many low-income families are unable to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables at these markets. There are several reasons for this.

First, SNAP benefits can only be used to purchase food items, and most farmers’ markets do not sell food exclusively. Second, many farmers’ markets are located in rural areas, where transportation is a challenge for low-income families.

Finally, some farmers’ market vendors do not accept electronic benefits transfer (EBT), which is the system used to distribute SNAP benefits. As a result, many low-income families are unable to take advantage of the healthy and affordable foods offered at farmers’ markets.

The number of fast-food restaurants has doubled since the 1970s.

Source: 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans

While the convenience and affordability of fast food make it a popular choice for busy consumers, the ability of these restaurants to churn out large quantities of food has also contributed to their proliferation. In addition, the rise of drive-throughs and delivery services has made it easier than ever for people to get their hands on fast food. As a result it’s no surprise that the number of fast food restaurants continues to grow.

statistics on nutrition fast food restaurant

More than 36% of children eat fast food on a daily or near-daily basis, consuming 14% of their calories from fast food.

Source: CDC

While fast food can be convenient and affordable, it’s important to make sure that it’s not the only thing your child is eating. Fast food is typically high in calories and fat, and it generally doesn’t contain the nutrients that your child needs to grow and develop properly.

If your child is eating fast food on a regular basis, try to make sure that they are also getting plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. You can also look for healthier options when you’re ordering takeout or eating out at restaurants. Ultimately, the best way to ensure that your child is getting the nutrition they need is to cook meals at home using fresh, healthy ingredients.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, more Americans are eating at home – with 44% eating breakfast at home each day and 33% eating dinner at home each day.

Source: Acosta

There are a number of reasons for this shift, including the closure of restaurants and workplace cafeterias, the increased difficulty of going grocery shopping, and the generally higher level of stress and anxiety that people are feeling. Whatever the reasons, it seems clear that the pandemic has led to a change in the way that many Americans eat.

Final Thoughts

Considering the state of our nation’s health, it might be time to take a closer look at your eating habits. The statistics on nutrition are sobering, but with small changes, you can make a big impact on your own health and that of your loved ones. What will you change today?