One-third of the average American's diet is made up of "junk" foods, according to a recent study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2000;72:929-936). In addition to being high in calories and fat, these junk foods take the place of healthier foods, so Americans are depending on just two-thirds of their diet to get 100 percent of the recommended dietary intake of vitamins and nutrients.The study used data from the well-known third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III), which examined eating patterns of among over fifteen thousand American adults. The investigator analyzed consumption of energy-dense, nutrient-poor foods, which were defined as foods that do not belong in any of the 5 major food groups: dairy, fruit, grains, meat and beans, and vegetables.These foods include: