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Study: Americans cutting calories, reading nutrition labels

PHOENIX — A study released this month by the United States Department of Agriculture finds more Americans are paying closer attention to what they eat.

Count Phoenix resident Charlotte Shaff among them.

“My eating habits have definitely changed since I had children,” she said. “I’m much more aware of what I am consuming and what they’re consuming.”

According to the study, more working-age and older adults are using the Nutrition Facts panel — the label you typically see on the backs and sides of food products.

Shaff says she usually zeroes in on sugar and sodium content.

“We don’t even have a salt shaker on our table anymore. I don’t want my kids to be used to a lot of salt in their foods, and so I want them to actually taste the food that they’re eating.”

The report, released by the USDA’s Economic Research Service, examined eating habits between 2005 and 2010. It found the average person ate three fewer meals away from home per month and overall daily caloric intake dropped by 78 calories per day. Click here to see the full report.