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Most Americans Think They Eat a Healthy Diet!

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  • Most Americans Think They Eat a Healthy Diet!

    Yeah, the survey size is small, but probably pretty representative of what most Americans believe about their diets and health.

    http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/ne...lthy-but-is-it
    Jan. 4, 2011 -- Close to 90% of Americans say they eat a healthy diet, but their penchant for sugary foods and drinks suggests otherwise.

    A new Consumer Reports Health telephone poll of 1,234 adults showed that 52.6% of respondents said their diet was “somewhat healthy,” 31.5% thought their diet was “very” healthy, and 5.6% said they were “extremely” healthy eaters.

    But 43% of said they drank at least one sugary soda or sugar-sweetened coffee or tea drink per day, and around one-quarter said they limit the amount of sweets and fat they get each day.

    These not-so-healthy eating habits may sabotage their diets and their waistlines, says Nancy Metcalf, the senior program editor for Consumer Reports Health in Yonkers, N.Y.

    “Drinking your calories is a really bad idea,” she says.”If you have to drink or eat something sweet, drink a diet soda or eat a piece of fruit,” she says.

    The poll also showed that Americans rarely, if ever, count their calories, and just 13% weigh themselves daily. As a result, it’s no surprise that 33% were off when they self-reported that they had a healthy weight when they actually had BMIs in the overweight or obese range, the new poll showed.

    There may be a discrepancy between what people think is a healthy diet and what they actually eat, Metcalf says.

    Her advice? “Write down everything you eat for a week, and look at it honestly and ask yourself, ‘Is this a healthy diet?’”

    Still, Americans did exhibit some healthy eating habits.

    Fully 78% said they ate breakfast daily. “Eating breakfast is associated with better weight control because your hunger never gets in front of you,” Metcalf says. Most people choose fruit, fruit juice, or cold cereal for breakfast, the new poll showed.

    Cheerios was the favorite breakfast cereal.
    and another!
    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/...nt;cbsCarousel
    (CBS) Most people at the grocery store like to think they're filling their baskets with healthy choices, reports CBS News correspondent Michelle Miller.

    "I don't buy a lot of goodies," said one customer. "I keep away from the cake and the chocolate and stuff like that."

    According to Consumer Reports Health, many Americans are simply deluding themselves, most say they eat well, but don't.

    "The perception does not equal reality at all," said nutritionist Katherine Brooking.

    Brooking says many Americans are really confused about what healthy eating really means.

    "People want to be healthy," said Brooking. "People want to do the right thing, but they don't want to admit how bad things have become."

    85 percent of Americans rarely if ever count calories. Another 79 percent never set foot on a scale.

    "I don't care about calories at all," said one woman. "I eat when I can."

    Maybe that explains why only 11 percent of those surveyed say they are very overweight or obese, when the truth is, 26 percent of Americans are obese.

    At a health food restaurant in New York City, people have good intentions.

    "I just asked them if there was cream in there," said one patron.

    Even though salad dressing adds calories, one man who slathered on Cesar dressing on his salad said he wouldn't eat it otherwise.

    When asked which of these items had more calories, the answers surprised people. 75 percent of Americans thought a glazed donut, which contains 260 calories, had more calories than a plain bagel, which has 320. 80 percent thought 20 M&Ms at 68 calories were higher than an ounce of pretzel sticks, which runs at 100 calories.

    In an effort to help consumers make educated choices, the new healthcare reform law will soon require restaurant chains nationwide to post the amount of calories for each offering on menus.

    "A lot of people are going to choose lower calorie and probably healthier items," said Mike Jacobson of the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

    Maybe with the information in front of them, Americans won't be able to fool themselves into thinking they're eating right.
    Do the survey findings hold true for your friends/family/neighbors? What do you think is contributing to this total disconnect between what people say they will do, think they are doing, and actually do?
    32-y.o., 5'7", 125lbs.
    Looking to improve my way of eating and mange a lean PCOS diagnosis without medication.
    Proud 80/20 primal mama of twins born March 2012 and surprise #3 due August 2013!

  • #2
    Gosh... another article telling people it's all about calories and the scale... sheesh.

    I totally agree, however, that most americans think they eat healthy. Plenty of the people I work with THINK their cream cheese bagel is just what the doctor ordered...
    March 1st 2010: 308lbs | CW: 219lbs / 18.5%BF | New Goal: 16% BF
    Male. 28. 6'4''. Currently working on them muscles and strength!

    "My chest hair caught fire when I was fighting a bear with a flamethrower, how do I get my hair back?” - Rivvin

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    • #3
      Overall I find myself amazed at what people consider to be "healthy eating"
      If Someone was following in your footsteps, where would you be leading them?

      Comment


      • #4
        Wow. I was just wondering how much CW one could fit in to a single article...I think my question has been answered. I actually chuckled at some parts. Poor average American. They really are doomed if all they listen to is this sort of drivel.
        Heather and the hounds - Make a Fast Friend, Adopt a Greyhound!

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        • #5
          Just remember, an apple pie snack cake is good for you because it contains REAL FRUIT!! OMGLOLZ!
          March 1st 2010: 308lbs | CW: 219lbs / 18.5%BF | New Goal: 16% BF
          Male. 28. 6'4''. Currently working on them muscles and strength!

          "My chest hair caught fire when I was fighting a bear with a flamethrower, how do I get my hair back?” - Rivvin

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          • #6
            I think the real eye opener is the caloric content of the grain based snacks as compared to sugar based. There are so many more empty calories in the grain based with little nutritional content. More calories for no return.
            Check out my primal blog: http://primalroar.posterous.com/

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            • #7
              I totally agree. Most of my friends/family think that I'm nuts to eat the way we do. I love it when people say "how can you not eat bread" or "I just absolutely have to the pasta or the rice". Yes, I still love the smell of freshly baked bread but when I think of eating it and what it does to my system, I say no thanks.

              The most self-destructive part of the above articles is "The poll also showed that Americans rarely, if ever, count their calories, and just 13% weigh themselves daily." Obssess much??? I can see weighing in weekly, but daily? I know a woman that weighs herself 5 times a day and graphs it! To me that is totally ubsurd.
              Georgette

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              • #8
                Originally posted by MollyCat View Post
                Overall I find myself amazed at what people consider to be "healthy eating"
                I agree and think a lack of knowledge about what really constitutes a healthy diet plus denial about what's actually being eaten ("it was only one chocolate bar", "I eat veggies: there was iceburg lettuce and salsa on my Taco Bell", etc) is the major problem. It's also possible that people just don't want to admit (even anonymously) that they eat "junk food".

                I don't know. Sometimes I feel like it's unfair to be smug about things like this and say "what a bunch of idiots!" when it's really not so simple. News outlets and advertisers stream a constant supply of misinformation and contradictory information and people are left to sort it out themselves. Not everyone has the luxury of time or internet access to read up on PB or nutrition/metabolism research and make a change if they want to.
                32-y.o., 5'7", 125lbs.
                Looking to improve my way of eating and mange a lean PCOS diagnosis without medication.
                Proud 80/20 primal mama of twins born March 2012 and surprise #3 due August 2013!

                Comment


                • #9
                  So, they criticize people for not weighing daily, not counting calories, and not knowing which foods contain more calories than others? I guess I'm not a healthy eater either by that standard....I think it's a sad commentary that "reading the nutrition labels on everything" is the first piece of advice for healthy living - I just got back from the store and the only thing in my basket that even had a label was some organic vegetable stock. Hint: if everything in your basket has a bar code and a nutrition label, you are not eating healthy.
                  If you are new to the PB - please ignore ALL of this stuff, until you've read the book, or at least http://www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-blueprint-101/ and this (personal fave): http://www.archevore.com/get-started/

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by interzone View Post
                    I don't know. Sometimes I feel like it's unfair to be smug about things like this and say "what a bunch of idiots!" when it's really not so simple. News outlets and advertisers stream a constant supply of misinformation and contradictory information and people are left to sort it out themselves. Not everyone has the luxury of time or internet access to read up on PB or nutrition/metabolism research and make a change if they want to.
                    So true. I thought I was a healthy eater because I ate plenty of whole grains and limited my fat intake. Had eliminated fast and processed foods and truly thought I was eating the best way possible. Imagine my surprise when I was diagnosed as pre-diabetic this summer. It wasn't until I looked at the American Diabetic Association's website and saw the diet they pushed was the diet that got me pre-diabetic that I started looking for alternatives. Many people, if they don't have a health problem, may never look beyond government and media recommendations.
                    My primal journal

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                    • #11
                      There is a total disconnect because, even if you are a well-meaning, health-minded person, you get such poor information in the mainstream media. These articles are good examples. As long as the mainstream nutritional paradigm is so completely and utterly flawed and the nutrition industry happily drinks the aspartame-sweetened Kool-Aid, the average Joe is going to be totally misled and misinformed, not to mention sick and fat.

                      There are many people who will read that garbage and will think that drinking a diet soda is better than sweetened coffee/tea. It is not. Just like we were conned into believing that breakfast cereal was good for us and eggs were bad and that soy was such a wonder food when all along they were feeding us animal feed that wasn't even good for animals.

                      The really scary part is that a preponderance of nutritionists and doctors believe the current, flawed paradigm.
                      True healthcare reform starts in your kitchen, not in Washington. ~Anonymous
                      The worst carrot is better than the best candybar.--TornadoGirl

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by shat View Post
                        The really scary part is that a preponderance of nutritionists and doctors believe the current, flawed paradigm.
                        I get this a lot: "I told my doctor about your diet and he said that'll KILL YOU! You really should stop it. Afterall, my DOCTOR said it."
                        March 1st 2010: 308lbs | CW: 219lbs / 18.5%BF | New Goal: 16% BF
                        Male. 28. 6'4''. Currently working on them muscles and strength!

                        "My chest hair caught fire when I was fighting a bear with a flamethrower, how do I get my hair back?” - Rivvin

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by tfarny View Post
                          So, they criticize people for not weighing daily, not counting calories, and not knowing which foods contain more calories than others? I guess I'm not a healthy eater either by that standard....I think it's a sad commentary that "reading the nutrition labels on everything" is the first piece of advice for healthy living - I just got back from the store and the only thing in my basket that even had a label was some organic vegetable stock. Hint: if everything in your basket has a bar code and a nutrition label, you are not eating healthy.
                          + 100

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by interzone View Post
                            I don't know. Sometimes I feel like it's unfair to be smug about things like this and say "what a bunch of idiots!" when it's really not so simple. News outlets and advertisers stream a constant supply of misinformation and contradictory information and people are left to sort it out themselves. Not everyone has the luxury of time or internet access to read up on PB or nutrition/metabolism research and make a change if they want to.
                            That's a great point. Smugness isn't a good quality, anyway, but I can't say I've never been guilty of judging people. I have no right to, because even if I have an understanding of how I should eat, it doesn't mean I adhere to it at all times, LOL.

                            Also:
                            The most popular vegetables were:

                            * lettuce or salad greens
                            * tomatoes
                            * carrots
                            * potatoes (not sweet potatoes)
                            * broccoli
                            * corn
                            * peppers

                            By contrast, the least popular vegetables were:

                            * parsnips
                            * Swiss chard
                            * bok choy
                            * turnips and rutabagas
                            * artichokes
                            * eggplant
                            * okra
                            I found the second list to sound way more appealing, although the first one did contain carrots, broccoli and the mention (but not inclusion) of sweet potatoes, which are all vegetables that I love.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by thehallowprince View Post
                              I get this a lot: "I told my doctor about your diet and he said that'll KILL YOU! You really should stop it. Afterall, my DOCTOR said it."
                              I don't think I'd even pay attention to nutritional advice from my doctor. She seems to think I'm 12 and told me that my tonsils looked 'yucky' and also told me what benign meant 3 times in 15 minutes.

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