Diet of US adults contain low quality carbohydrates


A study has been published by the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) which proved that the adult diet in the United States contained low-quality carbs and saturated fat. However, an improvement is noticed in the overall adult diet in the US. A person intakes only 9% high-quality carbohydrates in the consumption of daily calories while he intakes 42% low-quality carbohydrates, according to the JAMA study.

The study was conducted on the base of the data collected between 1999 and 2016. The daily calories contain 12% of saturated fat. The percentage of fat intake increased by 1% over the same period. The US dietary guidelines advise intaking only 10% of the saturated fat daily. Dr. Fang Zhang, the co-senior study author, said, “We are still a long way from getting ‘A’ on this report card.”

Dr. Zhang said that he was satisfied with encouraging signs found in the study in the form of the improvement in the adult diet. He is a nutrition epidemiologist at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University. The study was conducted on the records of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). 44000 adults reported their dietary data at least once between 1999 and 2016.

The database of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) was also used in the study. The Healthy Eating Index (HEI) of the USDA was used for the assessment of the dietary data. The study found some important results. According to the study, the total carbohydrates fell from 52.5% to 50.5%. An increase in total protein was found in the study from 15.5% to 16.4%.

The study found an increase in the total fat from 32% to 33.2%. The consumption of low-quality carbohydrates fell from 45.1% to 41.8%. An increase from 7.42% to 8.65% was found in the study in the consumption of high-quality carbohydrates. The saturated fats also increased from 11.5% to 11.9%. The consumption of whole grains helped in the increase of the consumption of high-quality carbohydrates.

Staff writer for the Chicago Morning Star


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