Americans are shifting to healthier diets, which has helped to stabilize obesity levels, according to global information company, The NPD Group. NPD's 28th annual Eating Patterns in America Report finds Americans consume more fruit, more bottled water and more yogurt than they did a decade ago.

Fruit has surpassed milk, vegetables and carbonated soft drinks over the last decade and now ranks No. 2 on the list of Top 10 foods Americans eat, according to this year's Eating Patterns in America Report .

The Top 10 foods and beverages in the American Diet include:

  1. Sandwich
  2. Fruit
  3. Vegetables
  4. Carbonated soft drinks
  5. Milk
  6. Coffee
  7. Potatoes
  8. Salty snacks
  9. Fruit juice
  10. Cold cereal

"Fruit is the number one snack and dessert in the United States and now makes up 6 percent of end dishes we consume," said Harry Balzer, chief industry analyst and author of Eating Patterns in America. "The movement toward more fruit over the last decade is, in my opinion, a movement toward the need for natural. Fruit is generally not processed and requires less preparation than many other foods."

The shift could explain why NPD's research also shows that obesity rates have leveled off somewhat.

"People are getting a handle on weight gain in this country. We may not yet be losing weight, but we've stopped gaining weight. You get a sense that the obesity trend has stabilized," Balzer said.

The eating trends research show that more than 30 percent of adults are obese. That number has leveled off in the last few years. Within the last decade NPD's data has shown that the number of Americans who are overweight, a body mass index 25 or higher, has not grown since 2003. The number of adults who are obese, those with a body mass index of 30 or greater, continued to increase until 2011, and since has stabilized and not increased.

"While health concerns play a role in the American diet, the cost of food and the need for convenient preparation are also major drivers in our food and beverage selections," Balzer said.

Read more about trends and statistics.

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