I’ve got some bad news for you…

In the USA, my home country, consumption of fruits and vegetables is plummeting. Consumption of red meat is soaring, as is sweetener consumption. Obesity rates keep going up. Americans are getting less and less exercise. Deaths from heart disease keep going up.

April Fool!

In actuality, compared to levels in 1985, fruit and vegetable consumption has gone up, red meat consumption has gone down, and consumption of sweeteners is about the same. The obesity rate hasn’t changed since the early 2000s. Americans have increased their exercise since 2000. Age-adjusted deaths from heart disease are down by more than half compared to 1950.

If you find any of that surprising, consider why that is. Remember that the media has a bias toward sensationalism and bad news. Don’t forget to take health news stories, and science journalism generally, with a grain of salt.

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