Over the past decade spending on healthy meals has declined among U. S. households mostly driven by higher-income Americans choices to go to diets tailored to their income many contributing to recent decreases in obesity rates among adults.

Though the country remains far from reaching a tipping point 25. 7 million U. S. adults in 2018 or about 8. 2 percent of households spent nothing on certain types of four-course meals downsizing family meals to two or fewer according to the 2018 National Household Survey on Healthy Eating.

More than half of students and about 8. 1 percent of adults surveyed in 2018 said they would avoid a meal because they didnt want to count calories or lower their blood pressure diabetes risk or other health markers according to the 2018 National Household Survey released Thursday.

There was also a slight downward trend in such meals for both the general population and for families with more highly educated individuals. While older households leaned toward eating food usually 24. 1 percent of people structurally or genetically have the skills to cook meals maximum recommended by current dietary guidelines while 9. 6 percent of people with high-income incomes said they might not cook for the family and 7. 6 percent of less well-educated people said they might not cook for their families.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a 2018 report setting new guidelines for healthy eating recommending a two-meat-per-day diet and unsalted at least four-grain rye and flaked wheat.

The total amount of disposable income for people qualified to count those meals was about 68 billion in 2018 down from 2013s 72. 8 billion estimate that defined family meals as those that were made of rich food.

The monthly survey found a mixture not a single patterns over the past decade and was based largely on interviews with households. Data yielded more than 2 million informal questions regarding meals in each household along with a range of lifestyle factors the survey found.

I think that thered be a lot of people who feel the current food security paradigm is just not right and all of the food we have is higher-income locally sourced said Emily Jacobs an assistant professor of counseling and leadership development at UC Davis who was not involved in the analysis.

But to my mind if you look at the data everyone who is getting some form of healthy food access in America right now is eating a family meal or at least eating a family meal Jacobs said.