After rising for decades, calorie consumption has declined in recent years as public attitudes have shifted.
By Margot Sanger-Katz
After decades of worsening diets and sharp increases in obesity, Americans’ eating habits have begun changing for the better.
Calories consumed daily by the typical American adult, which peaked around 2003, are in the midst of their first sustained decline since federal statistics began to track the subject, more than 40 years ago. The number of calories that the average American child takes in daily has fallen even more — by at least 9 percent.
The declines cut across most major demographic groups — including higher- and lower-income families, and blacks and whites — though they vary somewhat by group.
In the most striking shift, the amount of full-calorie soda drunk by the average American has dropped 25 percent since the late 1990s.