Skip to content

    Americans' Calorie Count Up Because of Carb Craving

    Feb. 5, 2004 -- Atkins schmatkins: Americans are eating more carbs than ever.

    The U.S. CDC reports that Americans are eating more than ever before. And most of this increase in calorie consumption comes from carbs.

    The report, in the Feb. 6 issue of the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, paints a picture of excess. In 1999-2000, American calorie consumption was significantly greater than in 1971-1974:

    • American men increased their total calories from 2,450 to 2,618 per day.
    • American women increased their total calories from 1,542 to 1,877 per day.
    • Carbs made up 49% of men's total calories and 51.6% of women's calories.
    • The percentage of calories from fat went down.

    "The increase in energy intake is attributable primarily to an increase in carbohydrate intake, with a 62.4-gram increase among women and a 67.7-gram increase among men," the CDC report notes.

    Where are we getting all these carbs? The CDC says we get them:

    • From eating out
    • From eating more salty snacks
    • From drinking more soft drinks
    • From eating more pizza
    • From eating larger portions

    Meanwhile, a second MMWR report shows that one in four Americans gets zero leisure time exercise. This number is actually an improvement: In 1989, one in three of us were couch potatoes.

    WebMD Health News

    Healthy Recipe Finder

    Browse our collection of healthy, delicious recipes, from WebMD and Eating Well magazine.

    Top searches: Chicken, Chocolate, Salad, Desserts, Soup

    Heart Rate Calculator

    Ensure you're exercising hard enough to get a good workout, but not strain your heart.

    While you are exercising, you should count between...