« Quote: Agriculture's toll on health | Main | Becoming Paleo, Part 2: The Anxiety Barrier »

The Standard or Average American Diet

Post by Dr. John

John Durant over at Hunter-Gatherer raises concern about the use of the term "Standard American Diet". He writes: "I hate when people use the phrase the "Standard American Diet", or SAD, to exemplify what's wrong with our food system.  It's so contemptuous."

Instead, he proposes the use of "industrial diets" or "industrial foods." I agree we should not use the moniker with contempt. However, even our modern-Paleolithic vegetables and fruits usually don't come from our own backyard but are produced and delivered by the food industry.  The term "Average American Diet" would be more accurate and would avoid the use of the SAD acronym. Regardless of the terminology, the key issue is knowing, on average, where dietary calories come from so we can determine where the nutritional challenges lie and whether we are making progress. 

According to Civil Eats and the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, these are the average daily calories per capita consumed in the U.S. in 1970 and 2008. The proportion of vegetables and fruits remains pitifully small. Grains have ballooned by almost 200 calories, added fat by about 230 calories, and added sugar by over 50 calories. The challenge for the Paleo community is increasing.


PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>