Visualizing the Changing Diet of the United States
Nathan Yau, statistician and founder of the online data visualization community Flowing Data, has created an interactive visualization of how the American diet has changed each year since 1970. Using data from the United States Department of Agriculture’s Food Availability Data System, which tracks annual food supply and consumption, Lau charts the average daily consumption per person of the five categories of major food items—meat, vegetables, fruit, grains, and dairy. Users can compare consumption levels on a yearly basis as well as observe how consumption changes over time. Perhaps the most notable change is how chicken surpassed pork in 1987 and beef in 2004 to become the most popular meat in the average American diet.