Wednesday September 18, 2019
Home Lead Story Americans Val...

Americans Value Differences Shifting In A Big Way

67% of older Americans view religion or a belief in God as very important, just 30% of the younger group felt the same

0
//
Americans, Generation, Value, Differences
42% of Millennials and Generation Z (ages of 18-38) view patriotism as “very important." VOA

The values that Americans view as important have shifted over the last two decades, as younger Americans place less significance on patriotism, religion and having children.A recent poll shows that 42% of Millennials and Generation Z (ages of 18-38) view patriotism as “very important” compared to almost 79% of people over age 55.

Hard work is the attribute all Americans value the most with 89% of respondents saying it’s a very important quality. Tolerance for others, financial security and self-fulfillment also topped the list.

Americans, Generation, Values, Differences
Generational Differences on American Values. VOA

Overall, about half of people — 48% — say religion is very important to them, down from 62 percent in 1998. While 67% of older Americans view religion or a belief in God as very important, just 30% of the younger group felt the same.

When it comes to having children, 43% say it’s very important. That’s down from 20 years ago, when 59% of people said that becoming a parent was very important.

Forty percent of people say increasing diversity and tolerance of different cultures and races is a step forward, 14% see it as a step backward, while the biggest majority, 43%, say it is both a step forward and a step backward.

ALSO READ: Silicon Valley A Punching Bag For Presidential Hopefuls

Issues like religion and patriotism have traditionally been politically important. However, the changing views of the emerging generation suggest those topics might not be at the forefront in the coming years and politicians will have to adjust their platforms and strategies accordingly.

The NBC News Wall Street Journal survey of 1,000 adults was conducted from August 10 to August 14. (VOA)

Next Story

Americans Addicted to Snacks, Food Experts Paying Closer Attention to What that Might Mean for Health

In the late 1970s, about 40 percent of American adults said they didn’t have any snacks during the day. By 2007, that figure was just 10 percent

0
Americans, Addicted, Snacks
This Sept. 7, 2019 photo shows items in a vending machine in New York. Americans are addicted to snacks, and food experts are paying closer attention to what that might mean for health and obesity. VOA

Americans are addicted to snacks, and food experts are paying closer attention to what that might mean for health and obesity.

Eating habits in the U.S. have changed significantly in recent decades, and packaged bars, chips and sweets have spread into every corner of life. In the late 1970s, about 40 percent of American adults said they didn’t have any snacks during the day. By 2007, that figure was just 10 percent.

To get a better handle on the implications of differing eating patterns, U.S. health officials are reviewing scientific research on how eating frequency affects health, including weight gain and obesity. The analysis is intended to gauge the broader spectrum of possibilities, including fasting. But snacking, grazing and “mini meals” are likely to be among the factors considered, given how they have upended the three-meals-a-day model.

Findings could potentially be reflected in the government’s updated dietary guidelines next year, though any definitive recommendations are unlikely.

Americans, Addicted, Snacks
Americans are addicted to snacks, and food experts are paying closer attention to what that might mean for health and obesity. Pixabay

For public health officials, part of the challenge is that snacking is a broad term that can mean a 100-calorie apple or a 500-calorie Frappuccino. How people adjust what they eat the rest of the day also varies. Snacks may help reduce hunger and overeating at meals, but they can also just push up the total calories someone consumes.

While there’s nothing wrong with snacks per se, they have become much more accessible. It also has become more socially acceptable to snack more places: at work meetings and while walking, driving or shopping for clothes.

“We live in a 24/7 food culture now,” said Dana Hunnes, a senior dietitian at UCLA Medical Center.

To encourage better choices as global obesity rates climb, public health officials have increasingly considered government interventions, including “junk food” taxes.

Also Read- Suicide Every Year Takes Lives of Estimated 800,000 People

In Mexico, which has among the highest obesity rates in the world, special taxes on sugary drinks and other foods including some snacks and candies went into effect in 2014.

Last week, a study in the medical journal BMJ said taxing sugary snacks in the United Kingdom could have a bigger impact on obesity rates than a tax on sugary drinks that went into effect last year. While sugary drinks account for 2 percent of average calories in the United Kingdom, sugary snacks like cakes and cookies account for 12 percent, the study said.

Complicating matters, snack options are also continuing to broaden beyond the standard chips and cookies.

“Manufacturers have tried to tap into Americans’ concern for health,” said Paula Johnson, curator of food history at the National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.

Americans, Addicted, Snacks
Eating habits in the U.S. have changed significantly in recent decades, and packaged bars, chips and sweets have spread into every corner of life. Pixabay

Beyond nutrition, health officials should also consider what emotional or mental health benefits might be lost when people move away from meals, said Sophie Egan, who writes about American food culture. Meals can be a time for socially connectivity, she said, while snacks are usually eaten alone. She also noted the growth in snacking may be fueled by the stress of busier lives.

“Who knows how much food is a Band-Aid for those issues,” Egan said.

For their part, food companies have moved to capitalize on Americans’ love of snacks and stretched the definition of the word. Dunkin Donuts’ former CEO has said the chain’s sandwiches should be considered snacks, not lunch. When Hershey bought a meat jerky company, the candy company said it wanted to expand its offerings across the ”snacking continuum ” to include more nutritious options.

Health experts’ recommendations on snacking vary. Children may need more snacks and to eat more frequently. For adults, many dietitians saying what works for one person might not for another.

Also Read- Tech Giant Apple Set to Reinvent the iPhones: Report

Hunnes, the UCLA dietitian, recommends sticking to minimally processed options like fruit or nuts when snacking. But she acknowledged the advice could sound like it’s coming from an ivory tower, given the prevalence of packaged snacks.

“They’re just there, and they have a great shelf life,” she said. (VOA)