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SYSTEMATIC REVIEW article
Front. Nutr., 13 January 2022 | https://doi.org/10.3389/fnut.2021.748847
United States Dietary Trends Since 1800: Lack of Association Between Saturated Fatty Acid Consumption and Non-communicable Diseases
Joyce H. Lee1,2, Miranda Duster1, Timothy Roberts3 and Orrin Devinsky1*
1Department of Neurology, New York University, Grossman School of Medicine, New York, NY, United States
2Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI, United States
3New York University, Health Sciences Library, New York, NY, United States
We reviewed data on the American diet from 1800 to 2019.
Methods: We examined food availability and estimated consumption data from 1808 to 2019 using historical sources from the federal government and additional public data sources.
Results: Processed and ultra-processed foods increased from <5 to >60% of foods. Large increases occurred for sugar, white and whole wheat flour, rice, poultry, eggs, vegetable oils, dairy products, and fresh vegetables. Saturated fats from animal sources declined while polyunsaturated fats from vegetable oils rose. Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) rose over the twentieth century in parallel with increased consumption of processed foods, including sugar, refined flour and rice, and vegetable oils. Saturated fats from animal sources Jere inversely correlated with the prevalence of NCDs.
Conclusions: As observed from the food availability data, processed and ultra-processed foods dramatically increased over the past two centuries, especially sugar, white flour, white rice, vegetable oils, and ready-to-eat meals.