Americans have a snacking problem, analysis suggests

Adults found to eat a meal’s worth of calories in snacks each day

New research suggests , many Americans have a , snacking problem.According to research, snacking contributes to an estimated 20% of the average American's daily caloric intake. .'Gizmodo' reports the study was led by scientists from Ohio State University.The scientists found people with Type 2 diabetes appear to consume fewer calories from snacks.Gizmodo reports an average between 19.5% and 22.4% of a person's daily caloric intake came from snacking, equivalent to about a full meal

Americans averaged 400–500 calories in snacks per day that offered little to no nutritional value, a new study revealed.

“Snacks constitute almost a quarter of a day’s calories in U.S. adults and account for about one-third of daily added sugar, a new study suggests,” researchers at Ohio State University wrote in a press release published on

“Snacks are contributing a meal’s worth of intake to what we eat without it actually being a meal,” he said. “You know what dinner is going to be: a protein, a side dish or two. But if you eat a meal of what you eat for snacks, it becomes a completely different scenario of, generally, carbohydrates, sugars, not much protein, not much fruit, not a vegetable. So it’s not a fully well-rounded meal.”

For their study, the researchers analyzed survey data from more than 20,000 people.

Participants with Type 2 diabetes snacked less often and consumed fewer sugary foods than those who weren’t diabetic, the analysis found.

“Diabetes education looks like it’s working, but we might need to bump education back to people who are at risk for diabetes and even to people with normal blood glucose levels to start improving dietary behaviors before people develop chronic disease,” Taylor said.

Among all respondents, snacks accounted for 19.5%–22.4% of total calorie intake but added little nutrition.

Snacks consisted mostly of convenience foods high in carbohydrates and fats, followed by sweets, alcoholic beverages, non-alcoholic drinks that included sugar-sweetened beverages, protein, milk and dairy, fruits, grains and, far behind, vegetables.

Taylor suggested we plan our snacks the same way we plan our meals, to ensure we have something that provides nutrition.