Obesity in the United State has increasingly been cited as major health issue. Findings from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey show that the proportion of adults who are obese has more than doubled from 15% in 1971–1974 to 34% In 2003–2006 for adults 20-74 years.In 1990, obese adults made up less than 15 percent of the population in most US states however by the year 2010 , 36 states had obesity rates of 25 percent or higher and 12 of those states had obesity of 30 percent or higher (CDCP 2012).
Cutler et al. (2006) suggested that increases in food consumptions prompted by falling cost of food is the major cause behind the surge in obesity since 1980. A study of pricing effects on food choices shows that price reduction strategies promote the choice of targeted foods by lowering their cost relative to alternate food choices (Jacobson and Brownell 2000).
In an effort to promote a healthy, balanced diet and to reduce the incidence of diet related health conditions/disease. US department for agriculture and Human services jointly publish the dietary guidelines for Americans every 5years from 1980 to provide targeted Dietary recommendations (Wells and Buzby 2008).
Reducing the percentage of Americans who are either overweight or obese to meet Public objectives may influence agricultural production (Johansson and Brownell2006).
Although papers has been published on dietary assessment of some major Trends in U.S. Food Consumption comparing years between 1970-2005, the objective of this paper is to identify food consumption via trend analysis during past decade so that the information will be useful for agribusiness firms as well as individuals in the agricultural sector. Apart from identifying the changes in in per capita consumption of major food categories, the paper also analyze price pattern changes and derive price elasticity of major food items.
REVIEW OF LITERATURE
A variety of factors are responsible for the changes in the US food consumption patterns in the past years which includes changes in relative food prices, increases in real (adjusted for inflation) disposable income and more food assistants to the poor (Puthnam and Allshore1999). Raunikar, Huang, and Purcell have suggested that population effects, income effects, diet and health effects, and social pattern effects are among the primary factors affecting these changes in the U.S. food markets.
Factors that influence food consumption choices among individuals and populations include cultural, social and economic factor (Kuhnlein 1989). Gerbens-Leenes and Non hebel (2002) classified why foods is required into three levels of scales: the basic level, the subsistence level and the cultural level. Food is required in other to prevent starvation at the basic level, based on number of nutrient dense foods required for healthy life span food is required at the subsistence level and at the cultural level, it corresponds to actual consumption pattern embedded in...