Are Americans’ tastes for sweets changing? A University of North Carolina study has shown that between 2005 and 2012, consumption of pre-packaged grain-based desserts (cookies, cake, doughnuts, and pie) is down 24 percent, which is good news for the Sisyphean war on obesity. Nutritionists as a whole have warned us that these grain-based desserts, like most sweets, are full of empty calories and rack up our sugar and fat intake.
For this study, researchers obtained data from a sample dataset of 134,000 households, and compared their food consumption habits over a period of seven years, from 2005-2012. The results are heartening, but not quite complete: changes in package size were not taken into account, which could be a big variable for our Super-Size Me nation.
"The results from the product and purchase level analyses highlight an opportunity for both food manufacturers and public health officials to work together to develop strategies to shift consumer purchases towards products with lower energy, sugar, and saturated fat densities in addition to decreasing overall purchases of [these products]," said Dr. Kevin C. Mathias, a recent graduate of the Nutrition Department at the University of North Carolina, and a researcher in this study.
So how can we improve even more? Researchers suggest larger nutrition facts boxes that appear on the front instead of the back of your package of Oreos, could definitely be a start. While you’re at it, we suggest bypassing these 9 unhealthiest store-bought cookies.