Logo
11 Facts About American Eating Habits
article image

Welcome to DoSomething.org, a global movement of millions of young people making positive change, online and off! The 11 facts you want are below, and the sources for the facts are at the very bottom of the page. After you learn something, Do Something! Find out how to take action here.

  1. In a 2012 study, 52% of Americans (that were polled) believed doing their taxes was easier than figuring out how to eat healthy.^[International Food Information Council Foundation . "2012 Food & Health Survey: Consumer Attitudes toward Food Safety, Nutrition and Health." Food Insight. Accessed April 14, 2014. .]
  2. At least 1 in 4 people eat some type of fast food every day.^[Schlosser, Eric. "Americans Are Obsessed with Fast Food: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal." CBSNews. Accessed April 14, 2014. .]
  3. Data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that in 2011 the average American consumed nearly one ton of food. That’s 1,996 pounds of food a year.^[Aubrey, Allison. "The Average American Ate (Literally) A Ton This Year." NPR. Accessed April 14, 2014. http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2011/12/31/144478009/the-average-american-ate-literally-a-ton-this-year>.]
  4. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s tests have found widespread pesticide contamination on popular fruits and vegetables, also known as the "dirty dozen." Here is a creative way to encourage your friends to buy organic fruits and veggies. Sign up for Dirty Dozen.^[Economic Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. "Fruit and Tree Nut Yearbook Spreadsheet Files." 2010. Web Accessed March 13, 2014.]
  5. The study also revealed some other interesting numbers. Americans ate: 632 lbs. of dairy products (including 31.4 lbs. of cheese), 415.4 lbs. of vegetables (most popular being corn and potatoes), 273 lbs. of fruit, and 183.6 lbs. of meat and poultry.^[Aubrey, Allison. "The Average American Ate (Literally) A Ton This Year." NPR. Accessed April 14, 2014. http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2011/12/31/144478009/the-average-american-ate-literally-a-ton-this-year>.]
  6. According to a 2012 Food and Health Survey, only 3 in 10 Americans believe that all sources of calories play an equal role in weight gain. Many Americans believe that carbohydrates, sugars, and fats are the key sources for weight gain^["Food Insight." 2012 Food & Health Survey: Consumer Attitudes toward Food Safety, Nutrition and Health. http://www.foodinsight.org/2012_Food_Health_Survey_Consumer_Attitudes_toward_Food_Safety_Nutrition_and_Health (accessed July 16, 2014).]
  7. Americans consume 31% more packaged food than fresh food.^[Fairfield, Hannah. "Factory Food." The New York Times. Accessed April 14, 2014. .]
  8. Healthiness of the food we eat decreases by 1.7% for every hour that passes in the day, meaning that people generally eat healthiest at breakfast and will most likely eat unhealthier food later in the day.^[Radcliffe, Shawn. "Eating Habits: Healthy at Breakfast, Junk Food at Night." Men's Fitness. Accessed April 14, 2014. http://www.mensfitness.com/nutrition/what-to-eat/eating-habits-healthy-at-breakfast-junk-food-at-night>.]
  9. Over 10 billion donuts are consumed in the US every year.^[Jacques, Renee. "Sweet Baby Cheesus, Americans Eat A Lot Of Mozzarella (And These 11 Other Foods)." The Huffington Post. Accessed April 14, 2014. .]
  10. 20% of all American meals are eaten in the car.^[Stanford University. "What's for Dinner?." Multidisciplinary Teaching and Research at Stanford. Accessed April 14, 2014. .]
  11. Americans spend 10% of their disposable income on fast food every year.^[Clauson, Annette. "Despite Higher Food Prices Percent of U.S. Income Spent on Food Remains Constant." Research in Agricultural and Applied Economics. Accessed April 14, 2014. .]
GET INVOLVED

Make a difference in your community and add your vision to the future of our democracy