Fat Stat

New data from the CDC were released today on the caloric intake of Americans and how that’s changed over the past two decades. In short, we eat more… a couple of hundred calories more each for men and women.

Age-Adjusted Daily Kilocalorie Intake Among Adults Aged 20--74 Years, by Sex --- National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, United States, 1971--2008


The data are self-reported, so presumably, self-reporting bias should smooth out over time and the number of people surveyed.  If anything, I’d bet that with increased attention on obesity over the past 5-10 years, there’s a reporting bias wherein people will recall that they ate fewer calories over the past few days than they actually did. In other words, people want to believe they’re being virtuous, but their waistlines belie their memories.

So, to me, the most interesting portion of the data is that steadily increasing region between 1980 – 1994, before overeating became unfashionable.


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