Friday, July 1, 2011

Snacking, not portion size, largely driving U.S. overeating

Snacking, not portion size, largely driving U.S. overeating

New article from yahoo say that eating snack frequently of course.. even slight increase in portion could be the major contributor for American obesity problems; read more at the Yahoo website. Over the past several decades Americans have steadily gotten fatter. Although their increasingly sedentary lifestyles are partly to blame, a big reason for our American weight gain is that they are 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 percent increase.

The average portion size has increased, too, but only by about 12 percent. 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.

"The real reason we seem to be eating more [calories] is we're eating often," says the lead author of the study, Barry Popkin, Ph.D., a professor of nutrition at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. "The frequency of eating is probably, for the average overweight adult, becoming a huge issue."

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