How Do Your Eating Habits Measure Up Compared to the Rest of the Country?

By Janis Jibrin, M.S., R.D., Best Life lead nutritionist

Have you ever wondered about how your diet habits compare to other Americans? Check out the findings below, from a national survey of American adults ages 18 to 80 by the International Food Information Council, to see.

food measure up

Weight and Health:

  • 90 percent describe their health as good or better. Most—62 percent—report having “excellent” or “very good” health.
  • 56 percent say they’re trying to lose weight.
  • 27 percent are trying to maintain their weight.
  • 81 percent say they have “a high level of control” over how much they weigh.
  • 30 percent say they try to control their weight “a great deal.”


  • On average, people gave their diets a B-. That’s a full grade higher than the C- they rated the average American’s diet.
  • 66 percent of people gave the following as the main ways they could improve their diet:
    —17 percent said they should eat a “healthier” or “more balanced” diet
    —17 percent thought they should eat more fruits and vegetables
    —17 percent thought they should cut back on sweets/junk food/snacks/sugar
  • 88 percent said they’re eating more fruits and vegetables.
  • 82 percent are cutting calories by drinking either water or low or calorie-free beverages.
  • 78 percent are eating more foods containing whole grains.
  • 75 percent are cutting back on high-sugar foods.
  • 60 percent are actively making an effort to take in fiber, whole grains and protein.
  • 73 percent say they’re consuming smaller portions.
  • 70 percent are reducing their salt intake.
  • 66 percent are limiting foods containing “solid fats” (I’m taking that to mean butter, margarine and, perhaps, fatty cuts of meat).
  • 60 percent are cutting back on full-fat dairy and subbing in low-fat or fat-free alternatives.
  • 38 percent of Americans “always” or “often” think about the number of calories they consume. Only 10 percent say “never”.
  • 63 percent of women and 48 percent of men say they would rather lose $1,000 than gain 20 pounds.
  • 80 percent say they eat more healthfully at home than at restaurants.
  •  88 percent say they have “a high level of control” over the healthfulness of their diet (but only 44 percent feel so about the amount of money they make).

How do YOU measure up?


Also Read:

Why Do (or Don’t) We Eat Healthy Foods?

Quinoa, Chicken Dominate Food Trends for Second Year

Food Trends and Rising Obesity in America

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