5 Scary Facts About Americans’ Eating Habits

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In case you needed any more proof that our country’s eating habits are less than stellar, we’ve found it: Shape excerpted some of the most shocking figures from David Zinczenko’s (best known for his Eat This, Not That! series) new book, Eat It to Beat It! I can only come up with one word to describe these numbers: Jaw-dropping.




The book covers a wide variety of topics, from how many calories the average restaurant meal has, to the number of pesticides found in your grape juice (double-digits, folks) to how much we are spending on diabetes medications annually. One thing these numbers all have in common? They are scary.

Here are the five facts that made our stomachs turn the most. You can check out the rest of the excerpted figures here.

333: The amount of calories in the average burger in the late 1980's. Nowadays, if you head into Ruby Tuesday for a burger, you should expect your lunch to clock in at at least 1,200 calories. And that doesn't even include the fries! Yikes.

58: The grams of fat in the average restaurant meal. Meaning: Eating out costs you about 90 percent of your fat intake for the entire day. Makes you think twice about going out to lunch, huh?

70: The percent of Americans' caloric intake derived solely from processed foods. (One minute -- I just need to pick my jaw up off the floor.)

1: Where bread ranks among foods that contribute the most calories to the American diet. And if you're thinking, "Hey, that's not so bad. Number two is probably eggs, or something healthy like that," sorry to burst your bubble: Number two on the list is cake and cookies. So, the top three foods contributing to our country's caloric intake are bread, cake and cookies.

200: The number of dollars spent annually per capita on prescription drugs to fight diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol. Because, I mean, see figures 1, 2, 3 and 4.

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