Magazine article Work & Family Life

A New American Diet Report Card

Magazine article Work & Family Life

A New American Diet Report Card

Article excerpt

The new American Diet Report Card from the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) is not one we're going to want to post proudly on the fridge. But maybe we should, as a reminder.

It's not entirely bad. We do get a few B's, because we have managed to cut back on sugars, shortening, beef, whole milk and white flour. And we're eating more yogurt and chicken. But we don't eat nearly enough fruits and vegetables, we eat too much cheese and we consume 450 more calories a day than we did in 1970.

"Americans seem to think that if a food is considered a healthier alternative, it's O.K. to swallow as much of it as one might like," writes Personal Health columnist Jane E. Brody in The New York Times. "People forget... that a tablespoon of olive oil has about the same number of calories as a tablespoon of lard, and even more than a tablespoon of butter."

Here are our Report Card grades and some suggestions and comments from the CSPI:

Meat, Poultry & Seafood: B We are eating less red meat, but at 74 pounds per person per year, that's still too many burgers.

Dairy: C- We're eating cheese in our salads, sandwiches, soups and pizza. We've gone from 8 pounds per person per year in 1970 to 23 pounds. On the plus side, we're eating less full-fat ice cream and more low-fatyogurt. …

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