On average, American adults eat four times a day, one of which is composed solely of junk food.
The Ohio State University researchers found that consumers nationwide consume up to 500 calories a day from sugary foods that aren’t healthy.
This substantial amount accounts for around 25% of their daily caloric intake and approximately 33% of their daily added sugar intake.
“Until you really look at it, the impact’s magnitude is not fully apparent. Without really being a meal, snacks add a meal’s worth of nutrients to our diets, according to Christopher Taylor, the senior study author and medical dietetics professor at the university’s School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences.
“You know what dinner is going to be: a protein, a side dish or two. But if you eat a meal of what you eat for snacks, it becomes a completely different scenario of, generally, carbohydrates, sugars, not much protein, not much fruit, not a vegetable.
“So it’s not a fully well-rounded meal.”
The astounding discovery was made just months after a different study discovered that remote workers track 3,500 fewer steps per day on average, yet consume an additional 800 calories.
Adults as a whole seem to have a snacking problem these days.
Researchers at OSU found that nearly 24,000 Americans over 30 who were polled reported consuming unhealthy foods for 19.5% to 22.4% of their total energy intake.
Even while adults mostly choose convenience foods that are heavy in fats, carbohydrates, and sugar, they also consume alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages that include milk, dairy, protein, and sugar-sweetened beverages.
While some people in the study claim to snack on fruits, grains, and vegetables, the proportion of those who do so is quite tiny.
Taylor recommends choosing snacks based on what is lacking from daily nutritional demands in an effort to balance the larger amounts that Americans have generated for themselves.
“We plan what to make for dinner and what to carry for lunch. However, we don’t arrange our snacks in such manner. You’re therefore dependent on the resources in your surroundings,” he stated.