Marketing, Motherhood, and Mayhem

Make sure right choice is easy

July 8th, 2011 by Deb McLean

According to health.com,over the past several decades Americans have steadily gotten fatter. Although our increasingly sedentary lifestyles are partly to blame, a big reason for our national weight gain is that we’re simply eating more.

In the mid-2000s, government surveys show, the average American adult ate about 2,375 calories per day, nearly one-third more than he (or she) did in the late 1970s. What accounts for all those added calories?

According to a new study, the biggest single contributor to the sharp rise in calorie intake has been the number of snacks and meals people eat per day. Over the past 30-odd years, the study found, Americans have gone from consuming 3.8 snacks and meals per day to 4.9, on average — a 29% increase.  The average portion size has increased, too, but only by about 12%. And, surprisingly, the average number of calories per 1-gram serving of food (known as “energy density”) actually declined slightly over that period, which suggests that calorie-rich food has played a relatively minor role in our expanding waistlines.

We’re eating more often and the frequency of eating is probably, for the average overweight adult, becoming a huge issue.  Some blame food advertising and other marketing for the shift from three square meals a day to near-constant eating. 

I think there’s just so many opportunities.  You never used to see food staring you in the face when you went to a drug store for instance.  It’s in your face and it’s cheap. It’s just easy to grab a magazine and a candy bar.

Make healthy options available for you and your children.  If your only option for that “snack” is a piece of fruit or yogurt, then your decision is made.  Speaking from experience, if my choice is chocolate chip cookies or a piece of fruit I’ll make the wrong choice!

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