WASHINGTON — Carbohydrates and carbonated soft drinks have taken a dive in American diets, according to a recent poll by Gallup. Meanwhile, consumers are less frightened of fat, with 56 percent actively avoiding it compared with 62 percent in 2002. The percentage of those who try to include fat rose to 22 percent from 16 percent in 2002. And slightly fewer folks are banishing beef and other red meat, from 23 percent in 2002 to 22 percent.
Nearly two-thirds of consumers say they avoid soda, and almost one-third are cutting carbs. Additionally, more than one-half of consumers are shying away from sugar.
Gallup polled a random sample of 1,013 adults during July 7-10 to gauge consumption habits in the United States. The findings revealed an increase in the percentage of consumers banning soft drinks, from 41 percent in 2002 to 63 percent. Avoidance of sugar has reached a new high at 52 percent, compared with 43 percent in 2002.
Comparatively, 46 percent of consumers seek to shake salt from their diets, up slightly from 45 percent in 2002.
Avoidance of grains has grown from 6 percent in 2002 to 15 percent this year; however, 70 percent of consumers make an effort to eat them. Since 2002, the percentage of consumers ditching carbohydrates climbed from 20 percent to 29 percent, while 41 percent still strive to incorporate them.
Americans also are embracing vegetables, fruits and organic products. Nine out of 10 consumers make a point to include produce on their plates, and 45 percent aim to eat organic. Despite an interest in healthy eating, however, the study notes consumers may not necessarily succeed in achieving that goal.
“In a nation that struggles with obesity, Americans’ words about what they eat likely need to be followed up with actions,” Gallup said.