According to the Associated Press, Americans are addicted to snacks, and food experts are paying closer attention to what that might mean for health and obesity.

Eating habits in the U.S. have changed significantly in recent decades, and packaged bars, chips and sweets have spread into every corner of life.

In the late 1970's, about 40 percent of American adults said they didn't have any snacks during the day. By 2007, that figure was just 10 percent.

To get a better handle on the implications of differing eating patterns, U.S. health officials are reviewing scientific research on how eating frequency affects health, including weight gain and obesity.

For public health officials, part of the challenge is that snacking is a broad term that can mean a 100 calorie apple or a 500 calorie Frappuccino.

According to a senior dietitian at UCLA Medical Center, we live in a 24/7 food culture now.