News Release 

Modest improvements in diets of US adults but still too much sugar, saturated fat

JAMA

Bottom Line: U.S. adults made modest improvements to their diets in recent years but still eat too much low-quality carbohydrates and saturated fat based on an analysis of nationally representative survey data. The study included data from nearly 44,000 adults who reported their dietary intake in a 24-hour period. Researchers report a decline in the consumption of low-quality carbohydrates (primarily added sugar) and increases in high-quality carbohydrates (primarily whole grains), plant protein (primarily whole grains and nuts) and polyunsaturated fatty acids from 1999 to 2016. However, intake of low-quality carbohydrates and saturated fat remained high. There was slight improvement in overall diet quality as assessed by a measure of adherence to key recommendations in dietary guidelines. A limitation of the study is its use of self-reported dietary data.

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Authors: Zhilei Shan, M.D., Ph.D., Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Fang Fang Zhang, M.D., Ph.D., Tufts University, Boston, and coauthors

(doi:10.1001/jama.2019.13771)

Editor's Note: The article includes conflict of interest and funding/support disclosures. Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.

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Media advisory: To contact corresponding author Zhilei Shan, M.D., Ph.D., email Chris Sweeney at csweeney@hsph.harvard.edu. To contact corresponding author Fang Fang Zhang, M.D., Ph.D., email Siobhan Gallagher at Siobhan.Gallagher@tufts.edu. The full study and editorial are linked to this news release.

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