With Americans on a hunger strike over food shortages, it may seem like an unusual time for Western food.
But it’s true.
A new study suggests the Western diet is still good enough for the average Westerner, and in some cases better than the average European diet.
In a study published in the Journal of Nutrition, researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University at Buffalo looked at what Westerners ate during the past five decades and how Westerners lived.
The researchers looked at food groups such as meat, dairy, grains and legumes.
They found that Americans were eating much more than Europeans, but not nearly as much as the researchers expected.
They also found that Westerners were eating foods like beef and chicken, which were very high in calories and fat.
But, unlike Europeans, Americans were not eating dairy products.
What they found, says Michael Osterholm, a professor of human nutrition at the University Health Network and an author of the study, is that Western foods have become more varied, including meat, seafood, and vegetables.
Osterholm says that it may be that people have become much more adventurous in the last decade or so.
“Westerners are eating more, more often, more of the things they’re used to, and the food they’re accustomed to eating,” Osterheim says.
The study suggests that the average American, who had a diet similar to that of Europeans in the early 1900s, is eating more vegetables and fruits than they did in the 1960s, the researchers found.
“The average Western American is eating a little less beef, a little more fish, a lot less dairy, a couple of different kinds of meats,” Oterholm says.
“So, it seems to be an interesting trend.”
But is the trend healthy?
Osterheim and his colleagues say that Western food is still an excellent source of nutrients, but it’s a trend that needs to continue.
“We need to keep on adding more food to the Western diets, and that’s going to require a bit more experimentation and more experimentation, to see how we go about it,” Ostersholm says, adding that it will take a long time to reach the ideal Western diet.
“It may be a long, long time before we achieve that.”
Osterholt says that in general, Westerners are getting more fattened.
But he says there’s no evidence that the trend is going to stop.
The researchers say that there’s some research that shows people who eat Western foods, like meat, can get cancer.
They say the research is not conclusive and there’s a lot of work that needs do to understand how Western diets can lead to cancer.
The Western diet has been gaining popularity as Americans struggle with high obesity rates.
And Osterham says the findings may explain why Americans are eating as much meat and processed foods as they have.
“What is really interesting is that the Western lifestyle has a lot more than just meat and cheese, and some of the other nutrients,” Oesterholm says.
“It has a very different impact on health, and we are just beginning to understand what that is.”
He says the trend could be sustainable for some time, but the results need to be replicated.