American diet too heavy on meat

July 21, 2004 in Nutrition Topics in the News

American diet too heavy on meat

Despite warnings from health groups and doctors, more than 70 percent of Americans still eat too much meat and fat and too few vegetables, cancer researchers say.

They published a survey showing 72 percent of Americans still centered their meals around animal fats, leaving little room for the vegetables that help prevent not only cancer but heart disease and perhaps a range of other diseases, too.

The American Institute for Cancer Research, which funds research aimed at showing links between nutrition and cancer, commissioned a survey of 1,000 adults. They were asked what they had eaten the night before and how much.

The survey showed that only 27 percent were eating the recommended proportion of plant food to animal food.

Even when the people surveyed ate vegetables, they had too few and often the least nutritious kinds. Only 6 percent said they had eaten a salad the night before. Of those, 19 percent ate salads loaded with meat and cheese.

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