To Your Health
August, 2008 (Vol. 02, Issue 08)
The Seven Deadly Diet Disconnects
By Editorial Staff
Think you're an expert when it comes to nutrition, diet and food safety? If so, you are in the minority of Americans. According to a survey conducted by the International Food Information Council Foundation, the number of people who have an adequate understanding of appropriate diet and food safety protocols is surprisingly low.
So, without further ado, here are the seven "diet disconnects" identified by the IFICF:
1. Food Safety: Seventy-six percent of Americans say they cook food to the required temperature. However, only 29 percent report using a food thermometer to check whether meat and poultry are "done." (To learn more about safe food handling, visit www.fightbac.org/content/view/172/2.)
2. Counting Calories: Nearly 69 percent of Americans who say they are trying to improve their diet reported doing so in order to lose weight. But only 15 percent of people know the number of calories they should consume each day. On the positive side, 4 percent more Americans were able to accurately state the number of calories they should consume than in 2007.
3. Diet and Physical Activity: A clear majority of Americans (88 percent) reported being physically active at least once a week. However, nearly half (44 percent) of these say they do not "balance diet and physical activity" to manage their weight.
4. Breakfast: Ninety-two percent of Americans agree breakfast is an important meal when trying to achieve a healthy diet, with significantly more Americans rating it as "extremely important" than last year. However, less than half of Americans (46 percent) reported eating breakfast every day.
5. Dietary Fats: Consumer concern about the types and amounts of fats they include in their diet remains high and they are more aware of trans fats than ever (91 percent). However, more than 60 percent of consumers don't understand unsaturated fats are beneficial to your health.
6. Carbohydrates: More than two-thirds of consumers say they are trying to consume more of certain types of carbohydrates such as fiber and whole grains, but only about half are concerned with the amount of carbohydrates they consume.
7. Food and Beverages With Added Health Benefits: Nearly 80 percent of Americans agree that consuming specific foods and beverages can provide certain health and wellness benefits beyond basic nutrition. However, 50 percent or more of Americans say they currently do not consume foods or beverages that deliver these benefits, although most are interested in doing so.