Americans eat 570 more calories per day compared to the 1970s

DonutAccording to new research, Americans are eating significantly more each day than we did back in the 1970s.  The findings arose from analyzing data from food surveys conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention between 1977 and 2006.

When it comes to managing your weight, 570 calories is a big deal.  To put 570 calories in perspective, consider that a pound of fat is 3,500 calories.  So if you eat 500 extra calories a day for seven days, you will theoretically add a pound to your body weight.   That’s why in the incentaHEALTH wellness program we coach our participants on the power of reducing their daily caloric intake by 250 calories combined with the addition of 250 calories of physical activity per day.  This creates a 500 calorie deficit instead of a surplus.  The result is one pound of weight loss per week.  The exact opposite of eating an extra 500 calories a day.  Simple choices can have big impacts over time!

You can read more about the study in the June edition of the journal PLoS Medicine, published by the Public Library of Science.

CNN has a nice interview with Barry Popkin, the lead researcher on the study from the University of North Carolina.