Are Americans Eating More, or Less?

Finally, some good news on the health front for the United States. According to a report released Thursday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service, more and more Americans are eating at home — and they're eating healthier. The report was based on a survey of 9,839 individuals and their dietary intake data. The findings demonstrated that individuals between 2005 and 2010 eat 78 less calories per day (118 less for working-class adults, consumed 3.3 percent less fat, 5.9 percent less saturated fat, and 7.9 percent less cholesterol). They also increased their fiber intake by 7.5 percent.

Oddly, the reports identify the dip in the economy as a factor in healthier diets — to save money, people ate at home more often. Between 2006 and 2009, dining out at restaurants dropped 11.5 percent, which reportedly helped account for 20 percent of dietary improvements. Having the ability to check nutritional labels can do a world of difference (and maybe eating healthier snacks can, too). Adults from 2009-2010 were also much better at checking labels than adults in 2007-2008.

While our obesity rates might still be high, the U.S. isn't on top anymore — developing nations have already surpassed America in numbers of overweight and obese, another report showed recently. And once vending machines start showing calorie counts, thanks to Obamacare regulations, maybe our statistics will take another dip in fat intake.

But beyond these external changes in the way food is presented, the most important part of the study is this: In 2009-2010 versus 2007-2008, fewer adults were saying that their weight was out of control. So it's fair to say that more and more Americans are actively implementing healthy habits and taking control of their lives. Or, you know, more people are in denial.