Most Americans care about healthy eating, but some ignore

October 22, 2002 in Nutrition Topics in the News

Most Americans care about healthy eating, but some ignore

Americans are generally aware of the importance of healthy eating, but about one third of the population remains unconcerned about their own dietary habits, according to new survey results from The American Dietetic Association. The survey was based on telephone interviews of 700 adults during April 2002.

Most Americans surveyed said they are "very concerned" about the growing problem of obesity, and 85% said they felt that good eating habits are "important to them personally." However, most Americans also believe the recommended serving size of food to be bigger than it actually is--more than half overestimated the serving sizes of cooked vegetables, pasta, rice, meat, poultry and fish.

Several misconceptions also appear to remain fixed in people's minds. For instance, 63% of survey respondents said that they believe a person's body weight indicates how healthy their diet is. Another 33% said they believe all herbal supplements are safe because they are "natural."

In terms of health information, a growing number of consumers appear to be turning to television for their health news. TV was rated as the number one source of nutrition information by a wide margin, up almost 25% from 2000. It was followed by magazines, newspapers, and radio.

The results identified that 32% of respondents choose not to heed healthy eating recommendations.

Despite this, more people than ever before say they are incorporating nutrition recommendations into their diets, up by 10% from two years ago. This increase was accompanied by a 10% decrease in the number of people who said they know what healthy eating is, but choose not to practice it.

All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.