Energy-dense, nutrient-poor foods (EDNP's), which are generally rich in fats, oils and sugars, occupy the very small "tip" of the Food Pyramid used to illustrate America's recommended dietary guidelines. Recent research published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition demonstrates that Americans continue to consume the same high percentage of these foods that they were in the 1970's, in most cases about a third of their daily calories from EDNP's. Dr. Ashima K. Kant analyzed data from the third 1988-1994 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III) which surveyed the dietary habits of 15,611 participants. Analysis of the participants' diets showed that EDNP foods supplied 27% of energy intake overall, and alcohol provided an additional 4%, results similar to data from the 1976-1980 NHANES II. Apparently neither public education efforts encouraging consumers to limit their intake of these foods, nor the recent availability of many varieties of fat- and sugar- modified products has affected Americans' penchant for EDNP's. Empty-calorie choices continue to crowd out consumption of more nutrient-rich foods which should be part of a healthful eating pattern.
The above story is based on materials provided by American Journal Of Clinical Nutrition. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.
Cite This Page: