Eat Less, Exercise More: Americans Are Finally Doing It We still have a ways to go, but this is promising news.

By Laura Entis

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

When it comes to our national diet and fitness habits, the forecast is typically bleak: More than two-thirds of the adult population is overweight and more than one third is considered obese, which puts the majority of Americans at increased risk for diabetes and heart disease.

But in the past week, two promising rays have pierced through the gloom. Finally, Americans are consuming fewer calories. They also appear to be exercising more.

As The New York Times recently reported, the average daily number of calories consumed per U.S. adult peaked around 2003, but now seems to be experiencing its first subtle but sustained decline in 40 years. Meanwhile, the average child's daily calorie consumption has fallen even more sharply, with a reduction of about 9 percent, according to the Times.

In addition to this promising trend comes more good news. A new Gallup survey suggests thta Americans are moving more. In June, the highest percentage of Americans reported that they exercise frequently (defined as at least 30 minutes of activity three or more days a week) than in any other month since the company first started recording exercise data in 2008.

The percentage increases have been small, to be fair. Last month, 55.5 percent of respondents indicated that they exercise frequently, up from last summer's high of 54.9 percent, and 2013's summer high of 54.2 percent. Exercising rates consistently drop in winter months but "if the current trend continues, 2015 may be one of the best years for exercise rates in the U.S.," according to the report.

Related: Why Investors Are Banking on This App to Curb Childhood Obesity

It's a small change, yes, but as the report also notes, even moderate improvements in exercise habits can have positive effects on both physical and physiological health.

America is not off the hook. Despite a slight reduction in our daily calorie consumption, our national diet remains deeply flawed. We're not eating nearly enough fruits and vegetables, we're still eating too much junk food and our salt intake is too high. Despite the sizable cut in the average child's calorie consumption (good news, especially when paired with declining obesity rates in young children), it appears that while kids are eating less, their diets aren't necessarily getting healthier.

Calorie reductions need to fall further. And as a nation, we should be moving more (the CDC recommends adults get at least 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity plus perform muscle strengthening exercises two or more days a week.) In other words, to truly reverse the obesity epidemic, both trends need a lot more steam.

But they are a start, and a promising early indication that as a country, we are starting to follow the simple (but effective) weight-loss adage: Eat less. Exercise more.

Related: For the First Time, Promising News on the Obesity Front

Wavy Line
Laura Entis is a reporter for's Venture section.

Editor's Pick

A Father Decided to Change When He Was in Prison on His Son's Birthday. Now His Nonprofit Helps Formerly Incarcerated Applicants Land 6-Figure Jobs.
A Teen Turned His Roblox Side Hustle Into a Multimillion-Dollar Company — Now He's Working With Karlie Kloss and Elton John
3 Mundane Tasks You Should Automate to Save Your Brain for the Big Stuff
The Next Time Someone Intimidates You, Here's What You Should Do
5 Ways to Manage Your Mental Health and Regulate Your Nervous System for Sustainable Success

Related Topics


3 Ways Work-From-Anywhere is Redefining Travel

Three trends to thrive in the newly-created "bleisure" travel segment.

Business News

Mark Zuckerberg Delivers Dorky Diss of Apple's Pricey New Headset

The CEO let his Meta team know what he thinks about Apple's Vision Pro, and he did not hold back.

Business News

Meta Unveils Twitter Competitor to Offer People a 'Sanely Run' Platform

The company is in talks with Oprah Winfrey and the Dalai Lama regarding commitments to the app.

Business News

Hedge Fund Pays NYC Interns $20,000 a Month on Average, Sent to Lavish Palm Beach Kickoff

Citadel is known for its over-the-top parties and company retreats.

Business Ideas

Top 25 Side Hustles to Make Money During Summer 2023

While the weather is warm, there are numerous ways to earn additional income. It is even possible to make money year-round with many of these ideas. But, here are the top 25 side hustles to make money during the summer.