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Americans Eating More Meals and Snacks Than Before

Americans are putting on more weight because they are increasingly eating more meals and snacks every day, reveals a new study. In 1977, US adults were eating an average of 3.8 meals per day which increased to 4.8 in 2006, reveals the study conducted by the University of North Carolina located at Chapel Hill.

The top 10% of heavy eaters consume seven snacks and meals a day. This increase in eating frequency has raised the total number of calories consumed every day. Though meal frequency and calorie consumption have increased, Americans are eating smaller portion sizes.

By 2006, Americans were taking in an extra 570 calories every day compared to their late 1970s. A major chunk of this increase is due to sugary soda drinks which contribute about 220 extra calories every day compared to the 1960s.

This research study received funding from the National Institutes of Health, and the findings were published in the June issue of PLoS Medicine journal.

The change in eating patterns could be due to a proliferation of restaurants and a decline in regular eating habits. The three-meals-a-day pattern is becoming less common and more people have starting to eat through the day. Health experts say the number of meals is not as important as the quantity of food consumed during the day.

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