Changing Life-Styles and New Eating Habits - Americans today have different eating habits than in the past. There is a wide selection of food available. They have a broader knowledge of nutrition, so they buy more fresh fruit and vegeatables than ever before. At the same time, Americans purchase increasing quantities of sweets, snack, and sodas.
Statistics show that the way people live determines the way they eat. Americans life-styles have changed. They now include growing numbers of people who live alone, single parents and children, and double-income families. These changing life-styles are responsible for the increasing number of people who must rush meals os sometimes skip them altogether. Many Americans have less time than ever before to spend preparing food. Partly as a consequence of this limited time, 60 percent of all American homes now have microwave ovens. Moreover, Americans eat out nearly four times a week on the average.
It is easy to study the amounts and kinds of food that people consume. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the food industry - growers, procesors, marketers, and restaurateurs - compile sales statistics and keep accurate records. This information not only tells us what people are eating but also tells us about the changes in attitudes and tastes. Red meat, which used to be the most popular choice for dinner, is no longer an American favorite. Instead, chicken, turkey, and fish have become more popular. Sales of these foods have greatly increased in recent years. This is probably a result of the awareness of the dangers of eating food which contains high levels of cholesterol, or animal fat. Doctors believe that cholesterol is a threat to human health.
According to a recent survey, Americans also change their eating patters to meet the needs of different situations. They have certain ideas about which foods will increase their athletic ability, help them lose weight, make them alert for business meetings, or put them in the mood for romance. For example, Americans choose pasta, fruit, and vegeatables, which supply them with carbohydrates, to give them strength for physical activity, such as sports. Adults choose foods rich in fiber, such as bread and cereal, for breakfast, and salads for lunch to prepare them for business appointments. For romantic dinners, however, Americans choose shrimp and lobster. While many of these ideas are based on nutritional facts, some are not.
Americans' awareness of nutrition, along with their changing tastes and needs, leads them to consume a wide variety of foods - foods for health, for fun, and simply for good taste.
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