Americans might be consuming fewer calories — and in doing so possibly reducing the obesity epidemic, according to new data on calorie consumption. In a country where sugary soft drinks and salty fast food fuel our bodies, the new data is hope for the future — pointing to the possibility that the obesity epidemic may have reached its peak in years past.

The study found that calorie consumption increased steadily over several decades, but has been dropping since 2003-2004. Even though one-third of Americans are obese, at least the last 10 years have shown that we’re eating slightly less than we did before. In addition, the data shows that the amount of soda Americans are drinking has declined by 25 percent since the late 90s — a significant drop in a country where Mountain Dew is often favored over water.

Overall, calorie consumption rates are declining for the first time since federal data began tracking it over 40 years ago, according to The New York Times. And the changes are impacting kids in a good way — with children eating less than they used to, possibly due to the anti-childhood obesity campaigns rolling out.

Calorie consumption in the U.S. has reportedly been decreasing for some time now, but that doesn’t always mean we’re getting healthier. In 2013, one of two CDC studies found that daily calories that came from fast food went down from 12.8 in 2003-2006 to 11.3 in 2007-2010. The second study found that boys aged 2-19 ate an average of 2,100 calories daily between 2009-2010, compared to an average of 2,258 calories daily in 1999-2000.

But public health experts believe that these slight decreases in calories won’t always translate to lower obesity rates. A bigger change needs to happen to fully overturn the damage. Another recent study found that obesity rates among people aged 55 or older were actually at an all-time high of 27.7 percent in 2014, rising from 27.1 percent in 2013 and 25.5 percent in 2008. That same study found that “obesity rates are highest in Southern and Midwestern states and lowest in Western and Northeastern states, a pattern that has persisted since we began measurement.”

It’s hard to track exactly how and what Americans are eating — and so we should take this new information with a grain of salt. We may be eating fewer calories, but it’s likely we’re eating just as much fast food and unhealthy options. Portion control, exercise, and choosing healthier options like water instead of soda can assist in fighting the obesity epidemic that continues to wreak havoc on the health of Americans and the health care system.

Source: Ford E, Dietz W. Trends in energy intake among adults in the United State findings from NHANES. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2015.