As promised my next blog was to be focused on food and nutrition, so here we go!

Having been pre warned that due to the large number of people in America compared to Australia the product variety would be significantly larger I was not surprised to see the supermarket shelves packed with numerous varieties of similar products.

As an example, in Australia, in the supermarket isle, we may have corn flakes mimicked by 4 different brands, but all relatively similar in regards to the taste and packaging. Here on the other hand you have Special K in 10 different varieties, all by the same company, with a different additional ingredient to suit the purchaser…now I can see why with so many options and tempting varieties of products to try, one may feel overwhelmed and give in to temptation.

Besides product variety there have been a few key things I have noticed to date.

Serve size- WOW! A small coffee in America is 12oz compared to Australia which is usually this is the general trend for all beverages here, and as I can see the bottled drinks are also slightly larger, resulting in a few additional kilojoules/calories being consumed each time!

When I travel in Asian countries such as Thailand, I love that the beverages are slightly smaller than in Australia. Can you imaging the travellers who come from those countries and are thrown into the USA food purchasing market…one can only imagine what they might be thinking!











Sweet- yes, you read that correctly! Everything appears to be slightly sweeter! From the stir fry sauces, to the bottled flavoured waters, to the dressing on my vegetables. I am slightly concerned that over the space of the next 5 months my taste buds are going to come to expect this level of sweetness…and particularly from foods that are not traditionally supposed to be sweet!

Refined products- It appears that there is every type of white bread, donut, muffin and rice cake available and available in mass! I find it particularly hard to swallow all the claims for ‘less than 100 calories’ per serve of these foods that have just been cut down in portion size and put in a smaller packet, but still contain empty calories which are of no benefit to sustaining the individual that buys the food.

Peanut butter- Every single product seems to come in peanut butter flavour! Now if this was all natural peanut butter (predominantly crushed peanuts) I wouldn’t be saying this is a negative, however unfortunately it appears most of these products are high in sugar and saturated fat, and tending to be high in sodium too. These products are typically high in calories and if they are so popular, I can see why people would be gaining weight at the speed of light

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I received an interesting welcome booklet yesterday when I arrived at the university. The booklet was made to help exchange students understand the culture in America to help ease the transition from their home countries. I have taken a photo of the page of the booklet that shows ‘typical American food’…there was not one healthy variety of products shown here.

The booklet consisted of burgers, pizza, ribs with sauce…the list went on! I don’t think you have to be a brain scientist to see where the weight management problem might be coming from!











We also had a discussion this morning at orientation about bicycle use here in Troy. It was interesting that the convenor made note that ‘Americans pretty much all rely on their own personal car, you won’t see many on bicycles around here’. You can imagine the amazement on some of the European students faces (who were all well within the healthy weight range!).

Now I know this post has focused on the negatives, but don’t worry, in part 2 of this post I will show you some of the great products I have also found that may really make weight management a piece of cake for those in NYC!

For now,

Travelling Dietitian x

About The Author

Kara Landau aka "Travelling Dietitian" is an Australian Accredited Practicing Dietitian based in New York City. She is a world explorer, healthy foodie, social butterfly, and barre class lover. When she isn't trying new cuisines, researching new product innovations in the health food space, or speaking to the media on behalf of her food industry clients, she can be found quietly conjuring up her next idea in how to make this world a healthier and better place.

2 Responses

  1. Heidi - Apples Under My Bed

    Love it, Karz!! The sweetness of everything is interesting, hey? I noticed that too and found the salad dressings to be a really strange one – raspberry balsamic, for example. Bleh! & so much peanut butter love! Have a ball, lady – what an adventure 🙂
    Heidi xo

    • Travelling Dietitian

      Hey Heidi! Yes, its amazing, absolutely EVERYTHING is sweet..I had a sample of an indian style vegetable soup and even that was sickly sweet! (I did spot a sultana though, so that might have explained it!) 🙂

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