Americans eating at home eat fewer caloriesA new study by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports that Americans have started improving their diets by eating at home more. Its one unexpected benefit of the recession, which started in 2007. Americans have reduced the number of visits to restaurants and have decided to cook at their homes.
Benefits of eating at home for Americans
There are several benefits of eating at home. Most noteworthy is the ability of Americans to not only to lower the cost of their monthly grocery bill, but also to eat healthier. According to Kevin Concannon, USDA under secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services, this is great news for Americans who have struggled for years fighting obesity and other health-related issues such as diabetes, heart disease and high cholesterol.
Concannon notes that many Americans continue to eat most of their meals outside of their home, but the new trend to eat at home is encouraging for the American family. How much of difference can eating at home make for most Americans?
According to reports, eating at home can help you eat fewer calories. For instance, as the number of dining trips out has lowered, the daily caloric intake has also decreased. CNN reports, Overall, daily caloric intake for most adults dropped by 5%, or 118 calories, from 2005-06 to 2009-10. Eating at home can also save most adults an estimated 127 calories per day.
Another benefit of eating at home is that families are eating meals together. Increased family time has been linked to a number of beneficial factors, especially for teens.
Americans take responsibility for their diets
We are also starting to see more adults take ownership of their weight. Is it hard to lose weight? Sure, but given that the obesity rates have spiked in the last 20 years its time for all of us to take positive steps toward maintaining a healthy body mass index. You might not have the frame of a super model but eating health and getting physical exercise can help you stay physically fit.
Another encouraging trend is as families have cooked and eaten together more is that individuals are paying more attention to what they are consuming. In fact, more adults are admitting that they are using the Nutrition Facts Panel and package health claims to determine what to buy. Education is the key.
Remember when you were a kid how eating out was a treat? Our family ate out one time per week on Sundays at the local Lubys restaurant after church. We never thought about eating out during the week or heading over to McDonalds for a dollar burger. Our family grew vegetables in the garden, and we had healthy foods throughout the week. Family time at dinner was a tradition and much of what we learned was done around the dinner table.
Seeing the economy tank has not been fun for anyone, but its nice to see that out of a crisis the tradition of family meal time is returning for the benefit of families across America.