The secret to healthier eating in America has a article on the results of a report titled Attitudes to Food: Weight and Diet.

The findings are relevant to an earlier post about a 3rd attempt by US government agencies to get Americans to eat more fruits and veggies.

5 factors shape the nation’s attitude towards food

  • Increased calorie consumption (almost 27% since 1970, mostly from added fats and sugars)
  • Aging population, with specific dietary requirements and taste preferences
  • Parents with greater interest in convenient and healthy foods
  • Increased prevalence of disease, which alters dietary requirements

More than half of Americans are familiar with dietary guidelines. They just choose not to follow them.

Americans claim that they would be receptive to dietary recommendations that emphasize foods that reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, or diabetes.

Yet, there is a disconnect between the claims they claim to be receptive to and the claims most often promoted by the food industry. Among more than 16,000 food products launched in 2006, none of the top 10 food claims mentioned heart disease, cancer or diabetes.

The bottom line?
According to the Mintel Group, which published the report, there are opportunities here.

Availability, cost, confusion, time constraints, and taste concerns are excuses not reasons for not eating healthy (see the earlier post).

American eating habits are hugely influenced by convenience, and they are unwilling to trade convenience for health or other benefits. Products cannot be healthful at the expense of convenience or they will fail.

Now, go to the ?Fruits & Veggies ? More Matters? website and tell me if that program has a cauliflower’s chance in a candy store of being successful.

4/14/07 20:51 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.