An interactive look at what Americans eat–and how much of it–from 1970 to today.
As Bryan Walsh notes in this week’s magazine, the decades-long vilification of fat has driven people to eat more sugar and carbohydrates, which new research suggests may be the chief drivers of rising obesity and Type 2 Diabetes. Here’s a look at how what fills the American plate has evolved over the last 40 years.
Slide the year below to see how consumption patterns have changed. Select each food group to see the changing make up of each over the years.
The data shows that Americans have greatly increased their consumption of poultry in lieu of red meat. In 2004, chicken overtook beef as the most consumed meat in the country. Similarly, dairy products declined markedly in popularity as vegetable and grain consumption increased.
Data for food consumption is provided by the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Nutrient Database. Figures represent the “loss-adjusted availability” of a given type of food per capita, a measure of how much of that food is available per person. Data for change in rice consumption is unavailable for 2011, 2012, so 2010 figures are used.