Food And Nutrition Statistics 2023 | Updated Facts And Data

Food And Nutrition Statistics

Our body’s functioning, fitness, and health- everything is ultimately connected to our diet. What you eat every day decides how you perform and how much immunity you have to sustain. Today, with most people becoming extremely conscious about health and fitness, they are recognizing the importance of nutrition and calorie intake. Over time, the nutrition trends have only moved upward and in the past few years, it has surged like never before. This made me come up with this feature on the latest food and nutrition statistics.

In this article, we will take a closer look at the Food And Nutrition Statistics 2023 which includes current nutrition trends, what science says about some of the key nutrient intakes, general statistical data, and more.

Fundamental Food And Nutrition Statistics

Almost everyone knows what the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) is. It is the guideline set for the daily intake of various nutrients. In other words, RDAs provide enough nutritional support for the fundamental body processes in healthy individuals except for a few (about 2 to 3% of the population) who may have special requirements.

Now, before getting into the specifics of various nutrients and their RDAs, here are some quick facts to note:

  • Diet is the most important factor influencing health.
  • Calories are the amount of energy provided to the body through various nutrients. Here’s how many calories a body gets per gram of the basic nutrient:
4 calories per gram of carb9 calories per gram of fat4 calories per gram of protein2 calories per gram of fiber
  • The percentage Daily Value (DV) of sodium below 5% is considered ‘low sodium’ which is also low fat.
  • A fiber and protein content of 20% DV is considered ‘high fiber’ or ‘high-protein’. This also means that it is the upper limit for high-fat food that you should be mindful of.
  • According to the dietary norms, you should limit your saturated fat intake to 10% of the daily recommended calories.

It is also important to note that the mortality rate around the world has a major connection with nutrition and the amount of food one takes – be it too little or in excess. Both scenarios can pose serious risks to health which is why, it is essential to follow a balanced diet.

A report published by The Journal of the American Medical Association confirmed that a significant proportion of deaths (more than half of the deaths) caused as a result of stroke, heart ailments, and type II diabetes are associated with diet-related factors. Here are some key mortality statistics from the research:

● 66,508 deaths were associated with high sodium intake
● 59,374 were the result of low seed and nut intake
● 57,766 were linked to the consumption of processed meats
● 54,626 came from Omega-3 deficiency
● More than 50,000 resulted from low fruit and vegetable intake

Some of the facts extracted from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Report 2018 and that support the above figures:

  • The calorie consumption of Americans has been found to be higher than the daily value guideline.
  • The amount of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and dairy products intake of Americans is much lower than the suggested guideline.
  • The recommended amounts are only 1.5 – 2 cups of fruits and 2 – 3 cups of vegetables per day.
  • Despite the recommendations, just about 12.2% of the adults meet the daily requirement of fruit serving and 10% meet the vegetable serving requirement.

A study established the fact that sufficient nutrient intake can reduce the mortality rate of adults in the US.

Comparing The Nutritional Trends 2023

Tracking each type of food can help us get to an understanding of where we stand when it comes to taking a balanced diet:


Fats Food And Nutrition Statistics

Fatty foods have always been considered a roadblock for weight loss. However, it is important to understand that fat is not necessarily the culprit when it comes to health issues. The important thing is to stick to the recommended percentage of fat which should not exceed more than 10% of the daily calories of an adult. Here are some key statistical data on dietary fat:

  • According to a CDC report, the average total fat intake for US men is 35.6% and for that of women is 36.1%.
  • Another study found that the national mean calorie intake from overall fat is around 12%.


Carbohydrates Food And Nutrition Statistics

Majority of the people, particularly those who try to shred their excess gains eliminate carbohydrates completely from their diet. While carbs do support weight loss in many ways, they have their own benefits when taken in the right amounts. Hence, removing them completely from your diet may put your health at serious risk.

Here are some of the main stats surrounding carbohydrates:

  • According to the CDC, the actual average carbohydrate intake by men and women is just about 45.9% and 47.4% respectively.

○ 51% is associated with heart issues
○ 50% is linked to brain stroke
○ 35% higher chances are from cancer

  • The stats from one of the surveys found that about 16% of Americans follow a low-carb diet.
  • In a poll, it was found that 1 in 5 Americans consciously avoid gluten-based food in their diet.


Sugar Food And Nutrition Statistics

Sugar consumption, be it added sugars in food and beverages or those derived from corn, has been directly linked to several critical health issues. However, naturally occurring sugar in fruits or milk is not included in this. Here are some important stats associated with sugar intake that you should know:

  • The Dietary Guideline recommends that the daily intake of sugar must be less than 10% of the daily total calorie intake.
  • A dietary trend reported by the CDC showed that the sugar intake among kids from age 2 to 19 years was up to 16% of the daily calories.
  • The sugar and fat intake among adults, as found in a 2010 study, has been as high as 40% of the total recommended calories per day.
  • One of the latest reports (from 2020) found that the majority of the US population still consumes added sugar 300% higher than the recommended daily amount.


Protein forms an essential part of a diet and supports muscle building and physical strength. It even helps in burning fat with the right combination of exercise and when harmful sugar and fat intake is minimized. The benefits of protein, however, can be obtained only in pure form and not processed since processed plant and animal protein usually come with a high content of sodium and fat.

Here’s what some of the nutrition statistics on protein say:

  • The daily dietary recommendation of protein as per the guidelines is 10 – 30% of the total daily calories or 50 to 75g.
  • According to the CDC data the actual average intake of protein by adult men and women is 16% and 15.7% respectively.
  • Protein takes longer time to digest than most other foods so excess of it should not be taken.
  • Muscles weaken with aging and since protein helps improve muscles and repair cells, it should be taken two times a day past 40.
  • There has also been an increasing trend in consuming plant-based proteins. A study shows that an average of 30% of people take proteins derived from plant sources.

Some of the best sources of plant proteins include:

● Black beans, lentils, and kidney beans
● Nuts and seeds (almonds, peanuts, hazelnuts, walnuts, or sunflower seeds)
● Soy products like Tofu, tempeh, and others
● Low-fat dairy products

It is essential to keep a check on the calories when eating nuts as they are high-calorie food and need to be taken in suggested portions.


Fiber Food And Nutrition Statistics

The health gains of dietary fiber are often overlooked but the truth is, it is one of the most gut-friendly foods that can be added to your daily diet. Numerous studies have confirmed its benefits in managing weight, and blood glucose levels, fighting digestive and intestinal issues, cardiovascular issues, and more. Let’s take a look at some of the key fiber stats and studies:

  • The recommended amount of dietary fiber intake is 14g per 1000 calories which is 28g per day given the suggested daily intake is 2000 calories.
  • Most Americans eat less than half of the recommended amount- an average of 8.1g of fiber for every 1,000 calories.
  • This means around 90 to 95% of people do not meet their daily fiber requirement. This is a result of the underconsumption of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains that are high in fiber.
  • A CDC report suggests that a fiber-rich meal plan can help regulate sugar levels in those with diabetes. This can then reduce the risk of various health complications.
  • Instead of sticking to just one source of fiber throughout the day, it is advisable to use it from multiple different sources for higher fiber consumption and better health gains.


Sodium Food And Nutrition Statistics

High sodium intake is one of the most common reasons behind numerous chronic health conditions, the most common one being hypertension or high blood pressure. While majority of the people associate sodium with the salt cellar they use on the table, there are actually numerous other sources where sodium comes from. Below are some essential statistics on sodium intake:

  • According to dietary guidelines, the daily intake of sodium should be less than 2,300 milligrams which is 1 teaspoon of table salt. It should be even lower for children below 14 years of age.
  • Sadly, 90% of people take sodium at higher levels than the suggested amount.
  • CDC reports that the average sodium intake among individuals from infant to older is 3,393 mg per day.
  • 70% of the sodium that people consume every day comes from outside food like restaurants, bakeries, beverages, and other packaged food items, etc.
  • More than 44% of sodium comes from foods like sandwiches (21%), other sources like rolls, eggs, omelets, cold cuts, etc. (19%). Rice, noodles, pasta, or other grain-based dishes constitute 8% of the sodium intake.

The below statistics highlight the health risks associated with excessive consumption of sodium:

  • 47% of men and 43% of women have high blood pressure (CDC report).
  • Hypertension increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke, however, it can be prevented by regulating salt intake and changing lifestyle.
  • Around 250,000 to 500,000 deaths each year are associated with high blood pressure.
  • At the demographic level, 1.89 million people die each year because of high salt consumption and it is estimated to go upto 7 million by 2030 if not controlled (WHO factsheet).

Top foods that contain high amounts of sodium and that you need to limit to regulate sodium levels in the body (UCSF, CDC, Other):

Breads and rollsPizzaSandwiches
SoupsCold cuts/ processed meatsChicken
Burritos, and tacosSavory snacks (Chips etc.)Cheese
Eggs and omeletsPoultryCanned tomato juice
Canned beansWafflesPasta, noodles


Vitamins Food And Nutrition Statistics

Nutrition-rich diet is essential for a balance of vitamins in the body. While many people are aware of their vitamin deficiencies, not many take necessary measures to fill up the gap. A deficiency of various vitamins in the body is associated with numerous long and short-term health issues. Some of the nutrition statistics associated with vitamins are as below:

Vitamin A

  • Children from age group 1 to 14 need around 300 to 600 mcg of vitamin A on a daily basis depending on their age.
  • However, despite the daily guidelines, a study showed that the average intake is just around 682 mcg for men and 616 mcg for women. Around 43% of the American population does not meet the daily vitamin A requirement.
  • A meta-analysis shows that vitamin A is essential for bringing down the mortality rate in children.

Vitamin C

  • The suggested amount per day is higher for pregnant/ lactating women (85 to 120 mg per day) and smokers (an additional 35 mg).
  • A report from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey confirms that men, women, and children are taking more than the RDA which is 105.2 mg/day, 83.6 mg/day, and upto 100 mg/day respectively.
  • Nearly 35 to 40% of people use multivitamins supplements which include vitamin C.

Vitamin D

○ 13% of the population in Europe
○ 7.4% in Canada
○ 5.9% in the US

  • The study also found that there was nearly a 22% drop in Vitamin D levels during winter.



  • Women between the 19 to 49 age group have higher iron requirements so the daily suggested amount for them is 14.8mg. It is 8.7mg a day for women aged 50 and over.
  • Data shows that 14 to 18% of Americans take iron supplements which fulfill their daily requirement of this mineral.
  • Iron can be dangerous at very high doses so following the guidelines is important.
  • According to research data, around 60% of patients with chronic heart failure were iron deficient and 17% had anemia. (NIH Factsheet)


  • The daily requirement of calcium is 1,000 mg/day for adults, 1,200 mg/day for women over 50, 1300 mg/day for children.
  • Survey shows that nearly 40% of people in the US do not meet their daily calcium requirements from their diet.
  • 26% of the population take supplements that also include calcium.
  • Approximately 49% of children aged 4 – 18 years and 39% below 4 get lesser calcium than the RDA.


  • The average intake of this mineral according to a survey of the American population was found to be 3,026 mg/day for men and 2,290 mg/day for women.

Supplements Statistics 2023

Supplements Food And Nutrition Statistics

Most of the nutrients that our body requires can be sourced from food. However, in some cases, due to various reasons, there can be a nutritional gap. While many professionals from the health industry vouch for a healthy diet, the necessity for supplements has been recognized by various researchers across the globe. Here are some key statistics on supplements 2023:

  • The trend shows that the usage of supplements has increased significantly from 2007 through 2018 and later among adults in the US.
  • The use of supplements among women population is reportedly higher (63.8%) than that of men (50.8%).
  • The most commonly used supplements include multivitamin supplements, vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids. (CDC Report)

Below is a quick overview of various supplements and the percentage of people who take them:

  • Multi-vitamin – 24% (ages 20-39), 29.8% (ages 40-59), and 39.4% (above 60)
  • Vitamin D – 6.7% (ages 20-39), 17.4% (ages 40-59), and 36.9% (above 60)
  • omega-3 fatty acids – 5.4% (ages 20-39), 12.5% (ages 40-59), and 21.8% (above 60) (CDC)

For a protein supplement, here are the recommended amounts that you must keep in mind:

  • Saturated fat should be 2 grams or less
  • 200 or lesser calories
  • Fewer than 5 gms of sugar


  • A survey shows 63% of adults consume alcohol.
  • The dietary guideline suggests limiting alcohol intake to two drinks per day for men and one per day for women.
  • Excessive drinking of alcoholic beverages is associated with numerous health risks.

Eating Patterns Surrounding Food And Nutrition

Most of the data that we have put in comes from various surveys conducted through the years and there seems to be a widespread discrepancy between what people mention in the surveys versus what their actual eating patterns are. This might be the reason behind the growing health concerns and nutrition deficiency in a higher percentage of the population.

  • More people say they are motivated by weight and appearance when choosing a healthier option
  • 61% of Americans believe that their dietary choices are influenced by their mental and emotional health.
  • Stress has affected the food choices among 60% of the American population (of which the highest being Millenials and GenZ).
  • 34% believe in environmental sustainability when picking their food.
  • The most common dietary patterns as per the survey are:

○ mindful eating (17%)
○ calorie-counting (12%)
○ clean eating (12%)
○ intermittent fasting (12%)
○ high-protein (18%)

  • 28% of people think every type of calorie included in the diet lead to a gain in weight (NIH)
  • More than 70% of the population feel confident about making health dietary choices.