Survey: Americans Simply Don’t Know What Constitutes a “Healthy” Food

by Julie Fidler, Natural Society: Do you know which foods are “healthy?” If you said no, or you only have a vague idea, then you have something in common with the majority of people who responded to a recent survey by the International Food Information Council Foundation (IFIC). [1]

Approximately 8 in 10 respondents to the IFIC’s annual Food and Health Survey said they have conflicting information when it comes to foods that are healthy to eat and those that should be avoided. More than half of those surveyed said the lack of clear information makes them second-guess their food choices.

Some foods are obviously unhealthy, such as fast food and junk food. But beyond that, things get a little fuzzy.

Liz Sanders, director of research and partnerships at the foundation and a co-author of the survey, said:

“I wasn’t that surprised to see that 78% reported that they encountered conflicting information, but our follow-up question to that had, I think, a really interesting data point in it, and that was that about half — so around 56% — say that this conflicting information causes them to doubt the choices that they’re making.

I think that shows that for at least half of our respondents, this conflicting information was leading to some doubt that made it harder to sort through all the conflicting information. Americans rely on many different sources for their information when it comes to what foods to eat and what foods to avoid. Not all of these sources are really highly trusted, and it is likely that these sources share inconsistent information.” [2]

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