Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Who Eats Salad?

On an average day, 20 percent of Americans aged 1 or older eat salad, according to the USDA's Food Surveys Research Group. The group defines salad as a mixture composed mainly of raw vegetables and excludes such things as fruit, pasta, potato, chicken, and tuna salad. The data come from the 2011–14 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which asks respondents to recall their food consumption for the previous 24 hours.

Females (23 percent) are more likely than males (16 percent) to eat salad on an average day, and older people are more likely than younger. Among adults aged 20 to 39, 18 percent eat salad on an average day. Among adults aged 40 or older, a larger 26 percent do. Those most likely to eat salad on an average day are women aged 60 or older (31 percent). Salad consumption also rises with income. Only 13 percent of people aged 1 or older from households with the lowest incomes eat salad on an average day versus 26 percent of those from households with the highest incomes.

Salads can contain a variety of ingredients, and most of the salads reported by survey respondents contained at least two raw vegetables. Here are the percentages of salads consumed on an average day that contained the following ingredients: 86% lettuce or leafy greens; 86% salad dressing; 43% tomatoes; 34% carrots; 27% onions; 25% cheese; 20% cucumbers; 19% meat, poultry, or fish; 10% croutons; 9% sweet peppers; 8% nuts or seeds; 7% olives; 7% celery; 5% avocado; 5% egg; and 5% broccoli.

Source: USDA, Food Surveys Research Group, Salad Consumption in the U.S.

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