By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Could the recent economic downturn improve our health? Certainly not from a standpoint of stress, but it did cause Americans to eat less overall, at least according to the USDA.

The researchers found that working-age American adults consumed 118 fewer calories each day in 2009-10 compared to 2005-06. That is a 5% drop.

The biggest downturns in calorie consumption were in eating food away from home – good news from a pure health point of view, since food away from home also tends to be nutritionally worse for us.

As for overall food choices: working-age Americans appears to be eating less foods with saturated fat and cholesterol and more fiber.

There is still a major economic issue. We still have few healthy options in economically deprived areas like many of our inner cities. This is still a problem.

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