Americans buying fewer cakes and pies
This may come as a surprise, but Americans may be buying fewer pre-packaged desserts, the kind of treats that tend to be filled with empty calories.
Researchers from the University of North Carolina used Nielsen home survey reports from more than 130,000 households to analyze the purchasing trends of ready-to-eat grain-based desserts between 2005 and 2012. And the study, published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, found that purchases of those pre-packaged desserts decreased by 24 percent.
Pre-packaged desserts tend to be high in the saturated fats and sugars that contribute to obesity. Researchers say that reformulating these desserts, or eliminating these from the American diet altogether may be one of the first big steps to reducing high rates of obesity. But replicating taste, appearance and texture of these desserts without fats and sugars is considered a challenge for manufacturers.
The researchers suggested that calorie labels on packages may be helping to steer people to make healthier food choices.
According to the Centers for Disese Control (CDC), nearly 35 percent of adults and 17 percent of choldren and adoloescents are considered obese. Medical costs for obese patients, on average, are more than $1,400 a year higher than people of normal weight.