Average American Diet (Infographic)

I stumbled upon this infographic this morning, from VisualEconomics:


The average woman is 5’4″ and weighs 164 pounds? You’d never think this by watching television, or movies, or advertisements, or just about any visual media.

By measuring food by weight, it misrepresents consumption a bit. Food that contains a lot of water may be heavy but may not contribute so much to calories as drier, fattier foods. A grapefruit weighs about a pound and provides ~200 calories, while a pound of donuts provides ~2200 calories. (A Krispy Kreme plain cake donut weighs about a tenth of a pound and provides ~220 calories.) So, this graphic appears to show we’re eating a lot more water-laden fruits and vegetables than we really are, and a lot less refined grains.

I think this graphic, put together by the New York Coalition for Healthy School Food, healthyschoolfood.org, better represents Americans’ diets:


It’s saying that Americans eat just 6% of their calories from unprocessed “vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts & seeds, whole grains.” In a whole food, plant-based diet, most of the food comes from this category, save for some refined grains (e.g. pasta) and sweeteners (e.g. maple syrup).

3 thoughts on “Average American Diet (Infographic)

  1. Bix Post author

    It just occurred to me that alcohol isn’t represented in either of these graphics. A 12-ounce beer has about 156 calories, an 8 oz. glass of wine has about 200 calories.


    1. Bix Post author

      I don’t know, but my quarter is on you being right. I think there is a plump mark-up on cheap, processed food in the markets. A box of cereal, the kind you’re supposed to eat cold with milk, comes to mind. And lately, I’m just really moved by the price of beverages … bottles of water with a sweetener and some magic ingredient. There must be enormous profit on this stuff.



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