A new article in The Guardian, titled Americans cutting calorie intake but junk food proves a hard habit to kick, features UNCFRP research from a January article in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and commentary by Dr. Barry Popkin.
The downturn in calorie intake is not so much a watershed in the fight against obesity as a first step down a long and hard road to better nutrition, according to Barry Popkin, professor of public health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, whose latest research paper flagged up the shift.
The drop in calories is largely attributable to the high level of public attention to sugar-sweetened beverages, such as colas and lemonades, says Popkin. That’s a good thing but, he says: “Americans are still eating a really bad diet. We haven’t increased whole grain. Still over 50% or 60% of the calories in kids and adults are from refined carbohydrates, desserts, fast food and savoury snacks.”
That means, he says, “more than half the calories for kids and adults in America are from junk food”.