1999 to 2020 Saw Diet Quality Improve Among U.S. Adults

However, disparities in diet quality were persistent or worsened by age, sex, race and ethnicity, education, income
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MONDAY, June 17, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- From 1999 to 2020, diet quality improved among U.S. adults, according to a study published online June 18 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Junxiu Liu, Ph.D., from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, and Dariush Mozaffarian, M.D., Dr.P.H., from Tufts University in Boston, examined trends in diet quality by race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic disadvantage among noninstitutionalized adults aged 20 years or older who responded to the 1999 to 2020 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Poor, intermediate, and ideal diet were defined as <40 percent, 40 to 79.9 percent, and ≥80 percent adherence to the American Heart Association 2020 continuous diet score, respectively. The analyses included 51,703 adults.

The researchers found that from 1999 to 2020, there was a decrease in the proportion of U.S. adults with poor diet quality (from 48.8 to 37.4 percent), while increases were seen in the proportion with intermediate quality and ideal quality (from 50.6 to 61.1 percent and from 0.66 to 1.58 percent, respectively). Disparities in diet quality were persistent or worsened by age, sex, race and ethnicity, education, income, food security, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program participation, and health insurance coverage. For example, the proportion with poor diet quality decreased among those with food security and did not change significantly for those experiencing food insecurity (47.9 to 33.0 percent and 51.3 to 48.2 percent, respectively).

"Diet quality among U.S. adults improved modestly between 1999 and 2020, but the proportion with poor diet quality remained high, and dietary disparities persisted or worsened," the authors write.

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