The International Food Information Council’s (IFIC) survey indicates that Americans want to take advantage of the health benefits of food. However, approximately one third of all adults in U.S. are obese, trending to 50 per cent by 2030. It seems like we are experiencing an eating conundrum.
Today’s post is the first in a two part series about America’s Eating Conundrum. I would like to address the IFIC survey.
Earlier in the year, IFIC conducted an online survey among one thousand randomly selected adults to measure America’s knowledge about the health benefits of functional foods (foods and food components) that provide benefits beyond basic nutrition. In addition, the IFIC wanted to learn whether these foods are part of the respondent’s diet. Detailed below are some interesting findings:
· A majority of U.S. consumers are confident they have control over their health, 67% “a great amount” and 28 % “a moderate amount.” No surprise, the leading factors that play “a great role” in maintaining and improving overall health were food and nutrition (73%), exercise (63%) and family health history (39%).
· 87% of the respondents agreed that certain foods have benefits beyond basic nutrition, 90% can name at least one food. When asked unaided, Fruits/Vegetables topped the list of functional foods (70%). Fish/Fish Oils came in second (18%).
· Good news! 9 out of 10 people (up from just under 8 in the last IFIC survey) can name as least one food and its associated health benefits (e.g., omega-3 fatty acids for reduced risk of heart disease).
· Respondents indicated that they struggle to incorporate key food components into their diets with the top three barriers to more frequent consumption being: expense, taste and availability.
Candidly, I struggle with the last bullet point. When it comes to eating healthy, I firmly believe it is ultimately an individual decision. Expense, taste and availability should not present any barriers here in America, the land of the plentiful. Conversely, if you want to eat unhealthy, there are no barriers here in America, the epicenter of Fast Foods. Consequently, somehow based on the current obesity statistics, the topic of my next post, apparently Americans make unhealthy choices.
Are you eating healthy?