The average American diet needs improvement because it falls short of dietary recommendations, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The national Healthy Eating Index scored the average diet at about 60 points -- out of a total of 100. Data for about 4,500 adults was examined, and results showed particularly poor scores for dark green and orange vegetables and whole grains.
Most diets were found to include excessive levels of sodium and excessive calories from sugar and alcohol, health officials noted.
Women were found to have higher scores on fruits, vegetables and overall their diets appeared to be healthier than men's diets. The same was found for adults age 60 and up.