After years of being under fire for their horrible dieting practices, love of fast-food chains and being the butt of everyone’s “Fat American” jokes, U.S. citizens have finally put their foot down. According to the New York Times, the amount of calories consumed by the average American adult has finally sustained a decline since data was originally collected, more than 40 years ago.

Even more encouraging is that the amount of calories the average American child consumes has dropped at least 9 percent, which is a huge feat considering childhood obesity had become considered an epidemic in the United States.

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition studied these statistics across various demographic groups, most notably lower- and higher- income families, and blacks and whites. Their findings, thankfully, provided hope for our nation’s health.

With a decline in caloric intake in Americans, obesity rates have finally stopped rising. Although the levels haven’t dropped yet, it’s only a matter of time before these rates begin to decrease due to the lower calorie consumption.

American caloric intake peaked in 2003, but since then there have been multiple efforts towards bettering public health through campaigns and education regarding the consequences of eating and drinking too much. Although more than a third of Americans are still considered overweight, it’s encouraging to see that these numbers aren’t getting any worse, and that eating habits are finally starting to change.

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