How much junk food do you typically eat? Many of us would rather not know, but new research suggests it's probably more than you think. A study from The Ohio State University finds adults across the country average four meals a day and one of them is made up entirely of junk food.
“The magnitude of the impact isn’t realized until you actually look at it,” explains senior study author Christopher Taylor, professor of medical dietetics in the university’s School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences. “Snacks are contributing a meal’s worth of intake to what we eat without it actually being a meal.”
Researchers surveyed nearly 24-thousand Americans over the age of 30 and found:
- People average between 400 and 500 calories a day in snacks. That’s often more than the calories they eat for breakfast, plus the snacks offer little nutritional value.
- These snacks make up almost a quarter of their daily calorie intake, as well as about a third of their daily added sugar.
- According to the study, junk food accounts for between 19.5% and 22.4% of their total energy intake for the day, but doesn’t add much nutritional quality.
- While some of the study participants claim to snack on fruits, grains and vegetables, they make up a really small percentage.
- To improve our snack habits, Taylor recommends looking at the day’s total dietary picture and seeing where snacks can fill nutritional needs.
Source: NY Post