Special Report

50 Ways American Life Has Changed in the Last Decade

13. Alternative medicine is mainstream

What used to be considered “alternative” is now “integrative.” Some of these treatments, such as acupuncture, have been around for a long time, but are now being accepted without prejudice. They address one’s physical as well as emotional health and are being recommended by doctors in addition to traditional drugs or surgeries.

Source: Valerie Macon / Getty Images

14. Obsession with celebrities is strong

Most children have a smartphone by the age of 10. With the constant flow of information about celebrities, and easy access to their profiles on social media, fame has become big business. More than half of 11- to 16-year olds identify celebrity culture as the main influence behind how they look or want to look.

15. Singers rise to stardom through reality shows

“American Idol,” “The Voice,” “The Masked Singer,” “X Factor:… Aspiring musicians sign up for such singing and other talent competitions in the hopes of making it in the music industry. Not every winner of every show becomes a huge star like Kelly Clarkson or Jennifer Hudson, but that hasn’t stopped people from trying.

16. Government is taking healthy eating more seriously

Government institutions are often blamed for being out of touch and for moving slowly when it comes to updating regulations. Trans fats, for example, were known for a long time to be harmful, and health experts said they should be avoided like the plague for years. The Food and Drug Administration took action in 2015, giving food producers three years to stop using them. Ingredient labels on foods have recently been updated to more accurately reflect sugar, calories, and nutrients content.

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17. People eat more “meat” made from plants

Unless you never eat out, you have probably heard of Beyond Meat burgers, which contain no meat. They are plant-based patties that include water, pea protein isolate, some oils, rice protein, and flavors. Another meatless product, the Impossible Burger, has been a huge hit, according to Burger King, which serves it. Overall, about 95% of people who order the meatless burger are not vegans, according to 2017 data from market researcher NPD Group.

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