Nutrition by the numbers
Research...surveys....statistics...it's that time of year again. As we prepare for a new school year full of facts, figures and numbers, here is some additional "food for thought."

A recent survey of 1,500 adults by the Calorie Control Council found that:
*64 percent believed they are overweight;
*24 percent report being on a diet;
*78 percent use low-calorie products regularly (at least once in two weeks);
*88 percent use lowfat products regularly; and
*78 percent believe they are "eating healthier today than three years ago."

Environmental Nutrition reports that in a recent survey of more than 23,000 adults in 16 states:
*only 20 percent ate five or more servings of fruit and vegetables a day;
*on average, women ate 3.7 servings, men at 3.3; and
*54 percent of women ate fruit at least once a day; only 39 percent of men did.

According to Dole Food Company:
*The average consumption of broccoli in 1970 was 0.5 pound per person per year; today, we average 4.5 pounds;
*In 1995, Americans drank 743 million gallons of orange juice.
*Their newest salad-making plant converts 360 million pounds of raw vegetables into 190 million pounds of salad per year, enough to make 760 million servings of salads per year.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture and National Broiler Council report that:
*beef consumption was up to 67.1 pounds per person in 1995, compared with 65.1 pounds in 1993; and
*chicken consumption was 70.5 pounds per person in 1995 and is expected to rise to 74 pounds this year.

The National Dairy Council provides these "scoops" on dairy products:
*The average American consumes 14.3 quarts of ice cream per year (and the favorite flavor is vanilla);
*Packaged frozen yogurt sales have nearly doubled since 1987, from $42 million to $80 million;
*Average cheese consumption is 26.8 pounds, compared to 21.5 pounds 10 years ago; and
*Nearly half (47 percent) of all Americans remember dunking their cookies in milk as a child, but as adults, less than 25 percent partake in the ritual.

Americans are keeping the Nabisco Company in business. Each year the company produces:
*More than 4.75 billion Chips Ahoy cookies; 50 million packages of Graham Crackers; 1 billion Fig Newtons;
*16 billion Oreos (if all the Oreos produced to date were placed on top of each other, there would be enough to reach to the moon and back three times); and
*40 million packages of Barnum Animal Crackers (originally introduced in 1902 as a holiday item to hang on Christmas trees, they were so popular they were sold year round).

Gold medals and Olympic records might seem like small potatoes compared to the enormous effort required to feed 15,000 athletes, coaches and staff who came to Atlanta for the Olympics. AGOG estimated the following partial grocery list:

100,000 gallons of milk, 61,958 strip steaks, 50,000 pounds of pasta, 46,560 bunches of green onions, 48,000 dozen eggs, 34,000 pounds of rice, 23,342 pints of strawberries, 15,498 pounds of asparagus, 3,333 pounds of black-eyed peas, 2,656 coconut custard pies, and 665 pounds of anchovies

And lastly...statistics from the "Golden Arches":
*Last year, 96 percent of Americans ate at McDonald's at least once;
*More than half of us live within three minutes of a McDonald's;
*7.5 percent of the country's potato crop goes toward McDonald's french fries; and
*One out of six meals eaten out is eaten at McDonald's.

Compiled by Colleen Doyle, Senior Associate Faculty, Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education, Rollins School of Public Health.

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