'Wealth Gap' Seen in American Diet

September 1, 2014 8:57 PM

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'Wealth Gap' Seen in American Diet

Americans' eating habits have improved — except among the poor, evidence of a widening wealth gap when it comes to diet. Yet even among wealthier adults, food choices remain far from ideal, a 12-year study found. On an index of healthy eating where a perfect score is 110, U.S. adults averaged just 40 points in 1999-2000, climbing steadily to 47 points in 2009-10, the study found. Scores for low-income adults averaged almost four points lower than those for high-income adults at the beginning; the difference increased to more than six points in 2009-10. The results are published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Higher scores mean greater intake of heart-healthy foods including vegetables, fruits, whole grains and healthy fats, and a high score means a low risk of obesity and chronic illnesses including heart disease, strokes and diabetes. Low scores mean people face greater chances for developing those ail...

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