Despite first lady Michelle Obama’s healthy living push, American eating habits deteriorated in the first 10 months of 2013, compared with 2012, according to a recent survey.
According to a Gallup survey released over the Thanksgiving holiday, the percentage of adults reporting that they ate healthy all day “yesterday” has been consistently lower all 2013 compared to 2012.
Gallup reports that in most months during 2013, “healthy eating has been at its lowest in Gallup trends since 2008.”
Additionally, the percentage of Americans consuming their daily produce requirements — five servings of fruits and vegetables a day — also declined over most months compared to 2012, the exceptions being March and October.
“As the U.S. obesity rate continues to increase across almost all demographic groups, it is critical that Americans begin to eat healthier and exercise more,” Gallup notes.
In early 2010, first lady Michelle Obama launched the “Let’s Move!” campaign aimed at stemming childhood obesity in America within a generation by encouraging healthy eating, fitness, and most recently, drinking water.
“The physical and emotional health of an entire generation and the economic health and security of our nation is at stake,” Obama said at the launch. “This isn’t the kind of problem that can be solved overnight, but with everyone working together, it can be solved. So, let’s move.”
Despite the push — and the fact that Mexico recently surpassed America as the “most obese” country — obesity in America has continued to increase. In early November, Gallup reported that the rate of adult obesity in 2013 climbed from 26.2 percent in 2012 to 27.2 percent in 2013.
To be sure, the Gallup numbers focus on adults, not children; however, the first lady’s healthy eating push has not been limited to youth, as her encouragements have often been aimed at parents. And while reports have indicated that the level of childhood obesity has “leveled off,” the rate of “severely obese” children is on the rise.
Gallup arrived at their most recently gauge of eating habits in America by asking 500 Americans everyday from a random sample of 150,600 adults about their eating habits. The survey has a +/-0.5 percentage point margin of error.