Current Trends

There has been an increasing trend in the United States toward consumerism, a trend that is reflected in more people eating away from home; the use of dietary and herbal supplements; foods for specific groups (e.g., dieters, women, athletes, older adults); the use of convenience and functional foods; and ethnic diversity in diets. Mainstream populations in developed countries want low-calorie, low-fat foods, as well as simple, natural, and fresh ingredients.

Internationally, there has been an "Americanization" of diets through the growth and use of fast-food restaurants and convenience foods. In developing countries there is still a need for some basic foods, and governments and the food industry are working to develop products that can reduce international food shortages and nutrient deficiency problems.

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