In the battle of the bulge we seem to be making a little headway. A recently published book by Michael Moss called “Salt Sugar Fat” found that Americans are choosing healthier every year. Although the increase is only about 5% per year, it shows that we are beginning to take what we eat more seriously. Surprisingly, the book also reports that we are choosing healthier food despite the rise in food prices over the past 10 years.
In his research for the book, Moss found that while processed foods are still dominating the grocery store aisles, there is movement across the country toward making healthy food options accessible at prices that are affordable for average families. As legislatures and local communities align with the increase in consumer demand for whole, healthy, unprocessed food products, the big food companies are feeling the pressure to provide healthier, less processed options which is good news for all of us.
Another indicator that we are making healthier food choices is that the percentage of our daily caloric intake that comes from fast food is decreasing. According to data from the CDC, on average our daily percentage of calories from fast food decreased by 1.5% (from 12.8% to 11.3%) between 2006 and 2010.
The CDC data also shows that while we aren’t eating fewer calories overall than we were 10 years ago, the makeup of those calories is changing. The percentage of our daily caloric intake that comes from protein has increased as the percentage that comes from carbohydrates has gone down. Since most of us already eat too many carbs, this trend shows we are heading in the right direction.
One of our goals at Fill Your Plate is to help local Arizona families fill their plates with healthy, locally grown Arizona food products. We help support the farmers and ranchers who dedicate their lives to producing our local food supply. These families raise the cows, pigs, sheep, chickens, and other livestock that become the farm fresh beef, pork, chicken, and lamb filling the meat cooler at the supermarket and the stands at the farmers market.
The farmers and ranchers of the Arizona Farm Bureau also make it possible for Arizona families to have access to fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables all year round. The members of the agriculture community provide three important benefits to the people of Arizona. First, they help ensure all Arizonians have access to a local food supply. Second, local food is fresher and can be less expensive because it doesn’t have to be shipped long distances in order to complete its journey from the farm to the table. Third, our wonderful farmers and ranchers are supporting these small steps toward a healthier diet by ensuring there are whole, healthy, unprocessed options available for purchase as we shift towards healthier eating habits.
- 7 Tips to Eating Your Way to More Energy (fillyourplate.org)
- 4 Tips to Eat Right in the New Year (fillyourplate.org)
- Filling Your Plate With Healthy Foods May Actually Save You Money (fillyourplate.org)