I just wanted to add my voice? pen? computer? to Lauren’s to ask you to join us for Eat-In May! She shared some pretty crazy statistics about how much Americans eat out.
I’ll add my two-cents in. When we started thinking about this project, I remembered reading somewhere–maybe in Fast Food Nation–that Americans consume one-third of their calories away from home. I looked it up, and found research from the USDA that confirms this:
* In 2005-2008 Americans consumed 32% of their calories away from home. (USDA Economic Research Service) I wonder how that compares to the past 3 years?
* Furthermore, the USDA determined that food away from home was higher in saturated fat and sodium but lower in dietary fiber. This seems like it should be obvious. But still, in case you needed the reminder, there it is.
* It seems that 30% of American calories come from desserts, sugary drinks, alcohol, and salty snacks, with the top five food items that contribute calories to our diets being: soft drinks, pastries/desserts, hamburgers, pizza, and potato chips (UC Berkley News). Notice these are all items we more frequently eat away from home.
* And my favorite quote from Berkley Professor of Health and Nutrition, Gladys Block: “…such healthy foods as vegetables and fruit make up only 10 percent of the caloric intake in the U.S. diet. A large proportion of Americans are undernourished in terms of vitamins and minerals. You can actually be obese and still be undernourished with regard to important nutrients. We shouldn’t be telling people to eat less, we should be telling people to eat differently.” (UC Berkley News)
Hear, hear, Gladys! I’m all about not eating less…but yes, I’ll admit that I need to “eat differently.” And to kickstart ourselves to eat differently, we’re launching Eat-In May. Join us!
Don’t worry. I’m creating my own two exceptions (because the point is to change habit and lifestyle, not to make things impossible). Maybe you have one or two exceptions, too, but the point is to nix the casual coffee stop and the “I-don’t-know-what-to-make-so-we’ll just-pick-up-pizza” moments. My exceptions:
- family birthdays/anniversaries–because I like my in-laws and would like to stay on good terms with them.
- travel–we rarely go away for the weekend, but there was this killer Groupon deal…well, you know how it goes. While I’ll reduce our eating out by packing food for some meals, it’s a bit stressful to go away for a weekend without eating out once (and the stress of packing all meals might mitigate the relaxation of a weekend away…which would be a waste of a perfectly good Groupon).
So there. Exceptions notwithstanding, WHO’S WITH US????