Home Daily Infographic Infographic: What The Average American Eats

Infographic: What The Average American Eats

by Erika Nicole Kendall

From VisualEconomics (click to enlarge):

Now, in comparison to a graph I shared here a while back, I have to wonder where all that cheese and all those “vegetables” are coming from. Are we counting the lettuce and tomato on a whopper? The tomato sauce and cheese on a pizza?

Artificial sweeteners… the average is 24lbs? Considering the number of us who don’t use that stuff, that means that those who do are using an awful lot of it.

Soda? People still drink that? Or the diet version?

Salt, too? Well, we all know where all that salt is coming from.

I’m also tickled by the amount of corn – 58lbs – and the amount of corn syrup (high fructose or otherwise) – an additional 42lbs. I mean, as a Midwesterner, we might eat a lot of corn-on-the-cob, but it certainly isn’t that much. If they’ve separated the corn syrups from the corn intake, kinda makes you wonder where the rest of that corn is hiding, hmm?

What stood out  to you?

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Erica September 12, 2011 - 10:45 AM

That “dairy products” wedge? Good freakin’ night!!! Since they pulled cheese out of it, what is that non-beverage-milk portion… ice cream? butter (or would that be fats/oils)? milk powder for various over-processed “baked goods”?

Only thing I can figure for the “vegetables” wedge is that they’re counting potatoes — chips and french fries could skew the numbers. Or maybe it’s ketchup. (Either way? Urgh.)

Gloria September 12, 2011 - 12:40 PM

I’m also shocked by the amount of non-cheese dairy. I’m slightly lactose intolerant, so I can’t really comprehend having that much dairy, lol…also, didn’t you do a post here a couple of months back on how most people in the world are actually lactose intolerant, but choose to eat dairy anyway? If that’s true, then A LOT of Americans are eating a large amount of food that’s making them sick.

Speaking of some of your previous posts, it looks like you’re right about a low fat diet not working for us, lol. The amount of fat that is listed here is considerably smaller than I though it would be, yet we continue to grow larger and larger. I think if everyone focused on eating less refined sugars and sweeteners instead of eating less fat, we would all be happier and healthier. 🙂

Connie September 12, 2011 - 2:40 PM

Agreed, I think that they must be counting all forms of potatos in veggies. I’m thinking that maybe we eat a lot of yogurt and cotage cheese? Sour cream on our tex-mex? As for corn, that is simple… we eat so much processed food, and corn is used in just about all of it… I assume that they are counting the ingredients in that crap. I admit, I thought that wheat products and cereals would have been higher.

digamba September 13, 2011 - 7:00 AM

The “corn” is probably corn starch and other additives, not to mention a million Taco B*ll meals consumed…and the vegetables? Potatoes are classified as a vegetable. I’d venture to guess that at least half, probably much more, of the average person’s vegetable intake is potato in some form. Non-cheese dairy products likely includes a lot of yogurt; think what a huge industry yogurt is, especially prepackaged “drinkable” yogurt, yogurt tubes for kids, etc. and then of course fast food milkshakes, ice cream and so on.

Andrea Plaid September 15, 2011 - 4:32 PM

Agreeing with all of you as far as how the dairy and veggies/corn may be broken down. What jumps out at me is the amount of meat (red meat, poultry, and fish/shellfish) the average USian eats combined doesn’t add up to the same amount of fruits–let alone veggies/corn and dairy–consumed. I’m sort of shocked by it, really.

Amy September 23, 2011 - 11:39 AM

I can totally believe that huge chunk being dairy products. There are milk products in almost everything. I never noticed it until I became vegan and started looking at labels. Ever wonder why those milk commercials didn’t specify a certain brand? Because the dairy industry just wants you to be drinking it and they’ll do anything for that: making milk mandatory in school lunches and publishing misleading (and many times sexist) facts about how milk is “sooooo goooood for you.”

arieswym January 13, 2012 - 7:04 PM

I’m struck by how much non-cheese dairy Americans consume. Wow. And this overcompensates for all the lactose intolerant people how don’t consume it. And that’s a lot of corn syrup and wheat flour.

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