Food and Drink Consumption

Food and Drink Consumption

The average person consumes over a ton of food and drink each year.

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According to NPR's food blog, "The Salt," the average American eats a whopping 1,996 pounds of food (approximately one ton) each year.

Using statistics from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, economists gathered data to come up with figures representing American eating habits in terms of weight. In addition to the general number of 1,996 pounds per year, the article also refers to specific food groups. For example, Americans consume 31 pounds of cheese per year and 630 pounds of dairy products overall — including milk, ice cream, and yogurt. Meat and poultry clock in at 185 pounds and grains at a total of 197 pounds.

It may be surprising that the annual consumed weight of fruits (273 pounds) and vegetables (415 pounds) beats meat, poultry, and grains. However, the fruit has water to thank for most of its weight, and the less colorful corn and potatoes are the most commonly eaten veggies in the U.S. Getting dangerously close to some of the healthier groups are sweeteners, weighing in at 141 pounds per year. Fat consumption is equally frightening at 85 pounds per year, which is 340 sticks of butter per person, almost a full stick every day. The data also shows that Americans consume an average of 2,700 calories per day, 700 calories above the suggested healthy average of 2,000.

Although there isn't an exact weight comparison to other countries, the U.S. has a particularly high consumption rate of fats, which exceeds most places in the world other than Western Europe. While North America and Western Europe lead the world in fat consumption, both Europe and Asia beat North America in fruit consumption.

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