According to a report in the San Francisco Chronicle, junk food, sugary drinks and alcohol make up nearly one-third of the calories adult Americans consume daily.
Quoting a study conducted by the University of California at Berkeley the report said that three types of foods - sweets and desserts; soft drinks; and alcoholic beverages - make up almost 25 per cent of all calories.
Salty snacks and fruit-flavoured drinks make up an additional 5 per cent, bringing the energy contributed by nutritionally deficient foods to about 30 per cent of the calories adults eat every day, the report said. By comparison, healthier foods such as fruits and vegetables make up only 10 per cent of the caloric intake in the average U.S. diet.
"We knew it was bad, but we didn't know it was this bad," said Gladys Block, a professor of epidemiology and public health nutrition at the university. "It's no wonder there's an obesity epidemic in this country,"- reports ivillage.com
According to washingtontimes.com because they are eating so many junk foods, she said Americans are not choosing enough healthy foods. Fruits and vegetables supply only a little more than 10 percent of daily calories.
Mrs. Block said this can lead to health concerns that result from malnutrition, including osteoporosis, heart disease and cancer. She said that most chronic diseases can be related to undernutrition. "I believe the foundation of a diet should be abundant fruits and vegetables," she said. She also recommends people eat multigrain breads and lean proteins such as fish.
Mrs. Block said she hopes her findings will prompt a change to healthier eating habits through actions taken by the government and the health care community. According to the study, doctors should advise people on what to eat to be healthy.