Americans eat Two Meals: one of good intentions, the other of seduction.
We try to eat healthfully–less trans fat, more organics, better school food for kids.
More vegetables, fewer snacks, more water, less soda.
These are easy changes—if cost, convenience and concerns about flavor and cooking/choosing/preparation time don’t get in the way.
But they do get in the way. Because convenience is paramount.
Weight loss, diabetes control, heart disease prevention or cancer prevention can be the goal, but unless it is convenient and fits into your schedule, you probably won’t eat it.
Only 11 percent of us eat 3 veggies and 2 fruits daily.
62 percent of us eat no whole fruits and 25 percent eat no vegetables in a day. With no change in the numbers above since 1988.
And thus, the meal of seduction: we eat, as a nation, 27 percent more calories than we did in 1970.
Most of that is high fructose corn syrup and solid fats. We eat out for one-third our meals, where even registered dietitians underestimate their calories by 30 percent.
Our traditional snacks are convenient: chocolate bars, chips, cookies, sandwiches (yes, people eat sandwiches as a snack).
Energy bars, nuts, hard boiled eggs, string cheese, apples. Convenience foods?
Only when they are bite size, portioned out, encased in plastic or pre-sliced and guaranteed not to rust/oxidize when left out on the kitchen counter.
The secret to eating more healthfully and eating what we intend to eat, is to make health and healthful foods truly convenient.
And getting good advice about how to do it.
For more on trends of why we eat what we do, see Attitudes to Food: Weight and Diet- Market Research Report.