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Health and Fitness, Nutrition, Public Health

What do Americans buy at the grocery store?

What do Americans buy at the grocery store?

This fascinating (and depressing) chart from the U.S. Department of Agriculture compares Americans’ grocery-store expenditures to the recommended expenditures for several categories of food. It shows that we spend the right proportion of our food budgets in exactly one food category: potatoes.

Otherwise, we spend far too much in basically every unhealthy food category, including red meat, sugar and candies, refined grains and frozen/refrigerated entrees. And we spend too little on healthy foods like fruits and veggies, whole grains, legumes, low-fat dairy products, poultry and fish.

This chart gives me a strange desire to do a bit of research with my own grocery-store receipts. I have a PhD in nutrition, and I make an effort to purchase and cook healthy foods for my family, but I’ve never thought to analyze our diets according to what percentage of our expenditures go toward healthy vs. unhealthy foods.

Previously: Rating my diet: in which I take the Eat Real Quiz, with thought-provoking results, Should the lack of access to good food be blamed for America’s poor eating habits? and Americans still falling short of national nutritional guidelines
Via Food Politics

One Response to “ What do Americans buy at the grocery store? ”

  1. Vanessa Says:

    It definitely is skewed in the wrong direction, however this doesn’t take into account the overall calories per unit spent. It might be recommended to spend 15% on whole fruits, for example, but then you would have maybe the total calories for two people in a day, when the equivalent spending in grain products would feed for a week. I don’t think that the cost of the suggested categories is low enough to offset that!


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