Nonalcoholic Beverage Consumption Among Adults: United States, 2015–2018

September 3, 2020

Questions for Crescent Martin, Health Statistician and Lead Author of “Nonalcoholic Beverage Consumption Among Adults: United States, 2015–2018.”

Q: Why did you decide to look at non-alcoholic beverage consumption for this report?

CM: Beverages help meet total water intake needs, and also are a major contributor to overall nutrient and caloric intake in the United States.

A previous analysis had looked at beverage consumption among youth (2013-2016), decided to conduct a similar analysis for adults.


Q: Was there a specific finding in the data that surprised you from this report?

CM: Water contributed substantially more to total non-alcoholic beverages consumption in grams, compared to other beverages.

Men consumed a lower percentage of their total beverages as water and tea, compared to women.

The contribution of coffee to total beverage consumption increased with age


Q: How did the data vary by different beverage types to total non-alcoholic beverage consumption among adults?

CM: By sex: Men consumed a lower percentage of their total beverages as water and tea, compared to women.

Men consumed a higher percentage of their total beverage intake as: coffee, sweetened beverages, fruit beverages, compared to women.

By age: The contributions of several beverages to total beverage consumption decreased with age: water, sweetened beverages, fruit beverages.

Others increased with age: coffee, tea, milk, diet beverages

By race and Hispanic origin:

For non-Hispanic Asian adults: water and tea contributed a higher percentage, sweetened beverages a lower percentage compared to other groups

For non-Hispanic white adults: coffee and diet beverages both contributed a higher percentage than for other groups

For non-Hispanic black and Hispanic adults: sweetened beverages were higher than for NH Asian and NH white adults

For Non-Hispanic black adults: fruit beverages higher than for other groups


Q: What is the take home message for this report?

CM: Water accounted for over half (51.2%) of total non-alcoholic beverage consumption on a given day for US adults in 2015–2018.

Next highest: coffee (14.9%); Sweetened beverages (10.2%); Tea (8.7%)


Q: Does NHANES or NCHS have any data on alcoholic beverage consumption?

CM: An NHANES report from 2012: Calories Consumed From Alcoholic Beverages by U.S. Adults, 2007–2010. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db110.htm

Main findings – Men and younger adults consume more calories from alcoholic beverages. And men consume more beer than other types of alcohol.

Alcohol use (not calories) is also reported using the National Health Interview Survey


Fast Food Intake Among Children and Adolescents in the United States, 2015–2018

August 14, 2020

Questions for Cheryl Fryar, Health Statistician and Lead Author of “Fast Food Intake Among Children and Adolescents in the United States, 2015–2018.”

Q: Why does NCHS conduct studies on fast food consumption among children and adolescents?

CF: We focus on fast food for this report because fast food continues to play an important role in the American diet. Fast food has been associated with poor diet and increased risk of obesity. In a previous report, we described the percentage of calories consumed from fast food among children and adolescents during 201-2012. This report provides an update on the daily percentage of calories consumed from fast food by children and adolescents aged 2-19 years during 2015-2018 and trends since 2003.


Q: How did the data vary by age groups, sex and race?

CF: There were some demographic differences in the daily percentage of calories consumed from fast food. Adolescents aged 12–19 consumed a higher percentage of calories (16.7%) from fast food than younger children (11.4%) aged 2-11 years. Girls consumed a higher percentage than boys and non-Hispanic white adolescents consumed a lower percentage than the other race and Hispanic origin groups. This brief report did not examine confounders that may possibly explain demographic differences.


Q: Was there a specific finding in the data that surprised you from this report?

CF: While there really wasn’t anything in this report that I hadn’t expected to see or that was surprising to me, this report’s trends analysis is of interest. The daily percentage of calories from fast food in children and adolescents decreased from 14.1% in 2003–2004 to 10.6% in 2009–2010, and then increased to 14.4% in 2017-2018.


Q: How did you obtain this data for this report?

CF: The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) is the source of the data.  Since 1999, NHANES has been conducted on a continuous basis, and visits approximately 15 counties each year of various population size.  The survey conducts at home health interviews and health examinations in mobile examination centers (MEC) with nearly 5000 people each year.   Information on nutrient intake was obtained from one 24-hour dietary recall interview administered in-person at the MEC.  Specifically, anyone who reported obtaining any food or beverage from “restaurant fast food/pizza” was someone who consumed fast food on a given day.  Dietary recalls cover intake for any given day, specifically the 24-hour period prior to the dietary recall interview (midnight to midnight).

For survey participants < 6 years of age a proxy was used (who was generally the person most knowledgeable about the child’s food intake). For children ages 6- 8, interviews were conducted with a proxy and with the child present to assist in reporting intake information. Interviews of children ages 9-11, were conducted with the child and the assistance of an adult familiar with the child’s intake. Adolescents 12 years or older answered for themselves.


Q: What is the take home message for this report?

CF: The take-home message for this report is that more than one-third (36.3%) of U.S. children and adolescents consume fast food on a given day. Overall, children and adolescents consume, on average, 13.8% of their daily calories from fast food.  And, on a given day, over 11% of children and adolescents consume more than 45% of their daily calories from fast food.

Diet and exercise play important roles in helping individuals achieve and maintain their health.  The USDA/HHS’ Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015 provides guidance in healthy food choices.  In addition, HHS’ 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans provides guidance for all ages in improving health through physical activity.


Fast Food Consumption Among Adults in the United States, 2013-2016

October 3, 2018

Questions for Cheryl Fryar, M.S.P.H., Health Statistician and Lead Author of “Fast Food Consumption Among Adults in the United States, 2013-2016

Q: Of all the types of food that Americans eat, what made you decide to focus on fast food for this study?

CF: We focused on fast food for this report because fast food has played an important role in the American diet in recent decades. Fast food has been associated with poor diet and increased risk of obesity. In a previous report, we analyzed and described the percentage of calories consumed from fast food among adults. This current study looks at fast food consumption in a different way. We describe who is eating fast food on a given day. Specifically in this new report, we look at the percentage of adults who consume fast food overall as well as by sex, age group, race and Hispanic origin, family income level and eating occasion.


Q: Your new report measures fast food consumption “on a given day.” What does that mean exactly?

CF: Fast food consumption “on a given day” reflects the way respondents in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey reported all the foods and beverages they consumed in the previous 24 hours. The survey is designed to be representative of people anywhere in the United States at any time of the year, so “on a given day” refers to any day—so for example, on any day in the United States, approximately 37% of U.S. adults consume some fast food.

“Fast food” is defined as any food a respondent reported getting from a “restaurant fast food/pizza” outlet in the 2013-2016 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey – often known as NHANES.


Q: What type of trend data do you have on eating fast food in the United States; for example, how has the consumption of fast food changed in the United States over the last 10 to 20 years?

CF: While we did not look at trend data for this report, dietary data collected from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey is a joint effort between the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The USDA has tables with calories (or energy) consumed from quick service restaurants – which includes fast food along with cafeterias and food trucks. These tables show that in 2015-2016, 15% of calories was from quick service restaurants compared to 16% in 2011-2012.


Q: Was there a finding in this new report on fast food that you hadn’t expected and that really surprised you?

CF:  While there really wasn’t anything in this report that I hadn’t expected to see or that was surprising to me, this report’s analysis does offer some new information. Results from this study were similar to what we found for youth in 2011-2012, where 34% of youth consumed fast food. A new contribution from this new research is reporting fast food consumption among non-Hispanic Asian American adults in comparison to other groups. A notable finding is that non-Hispanic Asian American adults consumed a lower percentage of fast food (30.6%) compared to non-Hispanic white (37.6%) and non-Hispanic black (42.4%) adults.


Q: What differences or similarities did you see between or among various demographic groups in this analysis of fast food consumption?

CF: We found some differences in the percentage of U.S. adults who consume fast food. For example, fast food consumption decreased with age and increased with increasing income. About 45% of young adults consumed fast food compared to just over 24% of older adults. About 32% of adults in the lowest income group consumed fast food compared to 42% of adults in the highest income group. And a lower percentage of non-Hispanic Asian adults (30.6%) consumed fast food compared to non-Hispanic white (37.6%) and non-Hispanic black (42.4%) adults.

Also, among those who consumed fast food, men were more likely than women to eat fast food at lunch, but women were more likely than men to report eating fast food as a snack.


Q: What would you say is the take-home message of this report?

CF: The take-home message of this report is that overall more than one-third of U.S. adults and 45% of young adults consume fast food on a given day. Fast food restaurants can vary, though consumers can find nutritional information, such as calories, on the menu in most fast food establishments and restaurants.


Fact or Fiction: Do One in Three U.S. Adults Eat Seafood at Least Two Times Per Week?

September 28, 2018

SOURCE: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2013–2016.

https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db321.pdf


Seafood Consumption in the United States, 2013–2016

September 28, 2018

Questions for Ana Terry, Health Statistician and Lead Author of “Seafood Consumption in the United States, 2013–2016

Q: What surprised you most about the findings in your report?

AT: Although the findings were not necessarily surprising, we found that seafood consumption was more than twice as high among non-Hispanic Asian adults compared with adults of other race and Hispanic-origin groups.  More than 40% of non-Hispanic Asian adults consumed seafood at least twice per week compared to about 19% of non-Hispanic white, 23% of non-Hispanic black, and 15% of Hispanic  adults.  This is consistent with other studies, which have found that people of Asian descent living in the U.S. consume seafood more frequently, in greater variety, and in greater quantity than non-Asian Americans (Liu et al, Environmental Research, October 2017).


Q: Do we know why there is such a disparity between US Asians and other race/ethnic groups when it comes to consuming the recommended amount of seafood?

AT: We analyzed data from the 2013-2016 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey that was collected by a food frequency questionnaire in which persons were asked about the frequency and type of fish and shellfish they consumed in the previous 30 days.  The questionnaire did not ask for the reasons why individuals consumed or did not consume seafood. Other studies have found that diet patterns in Asian countries include fish and shellfish intake levels greater than the average seafood consumption worldwide and that the food choices of people of Asian descent living in the U.S. , are influences by Asian dietary patterns (Liu et al, Environmental Research, October 2017).


Q: Does the fact that seafood consumption has declined mean the population is at less of a risk for mercury exposure?

AT: We did not assess mercury exposure in this report.


Q: What are the health benefits to eating seafood?

AT: The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend for the general population consumption of about 8 oz per week of a variety of seafood. Fish and shellfish are excellent sources of high quality protein, are low in saturated fat, are rich in minerals and vitamins, and provide certain omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) that the body cannot make and are important for normal growth and development.  Seafood and omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to protect against health problems.


Q: What kinds of seafood are most healthy to eat?

AT: Cold water oily fish have the highest levels of omega-3 fatty acids but lower in methyl mercury (according to the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans). Cold water oily fish include:  Salmon, Anchovies, Herring, Shad, Atlantic and Pacific mackerel


FACT OR FICTION: Do most boys and girls drink sugar-sweetened beverages each day?

January 26, 2017

Source: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey

https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db271.pdf


Perception of Weight Status in U.S. Children and Adolescents Aged 8–15 Years, 2005–2012

July 29, 2014

Childhood obesity is a major public health problem associated with many adverse health outcomes in adulthood. During 2011–2012, nearly 17% of children and adolescents were obese. Weight status misperception occurs when the child’s perception of their weight status differs from their actual weight status based on measured height and weight. Accurate weight status self-perception has been linked to appropriate weight control behaviors in youth.

The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data for children and adolescents aged 8–15 years offers an opportunity to examine weight perception status in this age group.

Key Findings from the Report:

 

  • About 30% of children and adolescents aged 8–15 years in the United States misperceive their weight status. Weight status misperception is more common among boys (32.3%) than girls (28.0%).
  • About one-third of Mexican-American (34.0%) and non-Hispanic black (34.4%) children and adolescents misperceive their weight status compared with non-Hispanic white children and adolescents (27.7%).
  • Approximately 81% of overweight boys and 71% of overweight girls believe they are about the right weight.
  • Nearly 48% of obese boys and 36% of obese girls consider themselves to be about the right weight.

 


A New Year’s resolution – Don’t follow the masses when it comes to exercise

December 30, 2009

What’s your new year’s resolution? For many people this time of year, losing weight and/or getting active tops the list. But when it comes to getting exercise (or, as we at NCHS term it, regular leisure-time physical activity), only about 35% of Americans are making it a priority (although, the percentage of those getting regular exercise in January through June of 2009 did increase from the same period in 2008). Take a look at the most recent statistics –

Percentage of adults aged 18 years and over who engaged in regular leisure-time physical activity: United States, 1997-June 2009 (Data from the National Health Interviewy Survey):

The answer? Don’t give up. And this year, if losing weight and getting active is your goal, maybe it’s time to give your resolution more than lip service.

For more details, visit http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nhis/released200912.htm.


Obesity information-it starts with the letters NHANES

August 5, 2009

Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released information concerning the prevalence and costs of the growing epidemic of obesity in the United States. Some of the most critical information concerning the weight of the nation is collected in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), which takes actual measurements of a nationally representative sample of the U.S. population.

For the most recent information on obesity and overweight, please visit the Health E-Stat report at http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/pubs/pubd/hestats/overweight/overweight_adult.htm.

For a more general overview, visit http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/overwt.htm.

As always, the NCHS press office can be reached at 301-458-4800.


Federal report on America’s children released

July 10, 2009

Federal interagency report shows declines in preterm birth and low birthweight. Children more likely to live in poverty, less likely to have parent employed full time.

These and other statistics have been compiled in America’s Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2009. It is compiled by a number of federal agencies and provides a comprehensive picture of the following key areas of child well-being: family and social environment, economic circumstances, health care, physical environment and safety, behavior, education, and health.

To access the report, please visit www.childstats.gov