nutrition statistics

Healthy Eating Statistics in the US

1. Only 12.2% of adults in the USA meet the daily fruit intake recommendations.

The recommended amount of daily intake of fruits for an average adult living in the US is somewhere between one and a half cup and two whole ones. This is part of the latest government-supported dietary plan — the 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The situation is even more alarming in the case of high-school students, as only 9% meet the provided recommendations, according to nutrition statistics.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

2. Less than 10% of US adults adopt and stick to the recommended vegetable guidelines. To be more specific, only 9.3% of all adults maintain a daily intake of 2–3 cups of vegetables, as prescribed in the latest guidelines. With high school students, the percentage of the population that meets the suggested dose is just 2%.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

3. Added sugars are a major part of daily unhealthy eating habits, statistics show.

Americans need to regulate their daily intake of added sugars — raw sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup, dextrose, fructose, glucose, honey, lactose, and more. The recommended dose is no more than 10% of the daily intake of calories. However, stats show that male adults consume 13% of their total daily calories from added sugars (335 calories on average); meanwhile, women consume (on average) 239 calories of these with the same rate as men. Moreover, the percentage is higher for children aged 2–19; up to 16% of their total daily calories. For boys, this averages around 362 calories, whereas for girls it’s more around 282 calories.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

4. American nutrition statistics show about 117 million adults suffering from one or more chronic diseases due to improper nutrition and lack of exercise.

The US population is suffering from diseases such as type 2 diabetes, different types of cancers, and various heart conditions. This is mostly the result of poor eating habits and a lack of physical activity.

Source: Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion

5. 23 million Americans, and counting, live in “food deserts.”

Over 23 million Americans, including 6.5 million children, live in so-called food deserts; meaning, there is no accessible supermarket in close proximity to their place of residence.

Source: U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

6. Only 2.7 farmers’ markets are available per 100,000 US citizens, significantly affecting statistics on healthy food availability.

Healthy food — fruits and vegetables are largely inaccessible for some families and residents of the less developed, rural areas of the US. A farmers’ market is a neat way of bringing locally grown produce closer to the general public due to more affordable pricing, longer operating hours, and higher quality of fruits and vegetables. Speaking of which, federal benefits are also available for such services — WIC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program vouchers and Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program coupons being some of them.

Source: United States Department of Agriculture

7. 90% of Americans are consuming a high amount of sodium. 


The percentage of Americans consuming a big amount of sodium has alarmingly increased. Around 90% of Americans are taking in a higher amount of sodium than the recommended daily requirement. Excessive sodium is one of the major causes of stroke, cardiovascular disease, and hypertension. 

8. Children are consuming around 3,300 mg of sodium every day, much higher than the recommended amount. 


The child nutrition statistics indicate that children consume a daily average of about 3,300 mg of sodium. The recommended daily sodium intake for children is less than 2,300 mg.

9. College students are taking an alarming 3,904 mg of sodium daily.

Pub Med

According to college students’ nutrition statistics, sodium consumption is much higher than the recommended daily intake. On average, college students are consuming around 3,904 mg of sodium every day. 

10. Decreasing the amount of sodium consumed by Americans can save billions in medical expenses.

According to the American nutrition statistics, if the daily sodium intake is reduced by 1,200mg, around $20 billion can be saved in medical costs. 

11. Obesity is increasing at an alarming rate among students in New York.

The analysis of college students’ fitness and nutrition statistics indicates that due to less physical activity and poor eating habits, 24.3% of students in NYC are overweight, and 6% among them are obese. 

12. The college students’ eating habits are unhealthy as most of them prefer junk food instead of healthy food.

Overall, Americans are consuming more processed and junk foods and a low amount of recommended dairy products, whole-grains, fruits, vegetables, and oils. 

13. The majority of Americans are not consuming the required daily amount of vegetables and fruits.

According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), 63% of males and 59% of females consume less than one serving of fruits and vegetables a day. 

College students consume fast food around one to three times a week according to the nutrition statistics. NHANES data highlights that the obesity rate would continue to increase among children if child nutrition guidelines are not followed. 

14. About 23 million Americans lack easy access to healthy foods. 


A report has shown that 23 million people (about 6.5 million children) live near areas more than a mile away from supermarkets. That indicates that the college students’ eating habits might be poor due to limited access to healthy food or limited transportation access. 


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