Many Americans can't name benefits of healthy foods

May 19, 2017


A new study shows many Americans want their healthy food choices to help them lose weight, yet many don’t know what types of food can actually help them accomplish their goals.

This is the 12th year the survey was conducted. It was conducted online.

Alexandra Lewin-Zwerdling is the Vice President for Research and Partnerships at the International Food Information Council, who distributed the survey. She said this year's survey showed a lot of people's false perceptions of healthful foods.

“A more expensive product, so a product that costs two dollars versus a product that costs 99 cents, the more expensive product was perceived to be more healthful,” she said. “And if you’re comparing a fresh product to a frozen product or a canned product again with the same nutrition label, the fresh product was deemed or perceived to be much healthier.”

Lewin-Zwerdling said there are some ways consumers can use the information.

“One was seek out nutritious foods in all forms including fresh, frozen, canned and packaged options. Two was get nutrition advice from credentialed and trusted sources; and lastly don’t be afraid of foods that can be nutrient rich shortcuts that may come in the form of processed or packaged foods.”

Lewin-Zwerdling said of the 96 percent of consumers who want health benefits from food, only 45 percent are able to identify a single food associated with those benefits.

She said consumers most common source for nutrition information is family and friends, which aren’t a trusted source.

The survey can be found at the IFIC website.