Americans want government help for making healthy food choices

Kathleen Blanchard's picture
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Americans say they want Uncle Sam to step in and help with making healthy food choices. A poll that included 1045 US adults; conducted by Food Minds LLC, finds that most Americans agree that good nutrition is up to the individual, but they could use some help when it comes to food labeling, education, motivation, and clear food facts.

“In light of all the recent attention around food labeling and nutrition guidance programs, we wanted to get a sense of what the consumer actually thought,” said Grant Prentice, FoodMinds’ director of Strategic Insights. “We heard clearly they believe things need to change – and that it makes sense for the government to lead that charge.”

What's on the minds of Americans is food labeling for one - eighty -six percent of those polled want calories and beneficial nutrients such as vitamin D or fiber clearly displayed on labels and up-front. Sixty four percent say if food contained warning labels they would consume less or shun unhealthy food altogether. Seventy-seven percent would like to see high calorie, low nutrient warnings on the front of food packages.

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One of the less popular food claims for American consumers is vagueness such as "helps lose weight," or "helps build strong bones. Consumer want more - they would prefer more factual information about what's in their food - for instance "contains fiber", or "low fat".

More than half of consumers (58 percent) want the government to ban advertising unhealthy foods to children and young adults, and fifty percent want to be rewarded by their employers for healthy lifestyle practices - they also think co-workers who engage in unhealthy behaviors should be fined or pay more for benefits - something that is already imposed on individuals who smoke.

Americans also think the government should sponsor more educational programs that can help the sort out the good foods from the bad, suggested by seventy four percent of those surveyed.

Ninety three percent of Americans appreciate the Nutritional Food Panel labels on food, and 88 percent find nutritional information on the front of food packages helpful. Sixty five percent of Americans oppose taxing sodas and junk food. When it comes to more information about food and nutrition, most agreed they would like Uncle Sam's help.

FoodMinds LLC

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Comments

Generally, food should be grown properly, prepared properly, and eaten properly. Commercially produce food, however, is produced for profitability: crops and animals are genetically modified to decrease costs (theoretically less chemicals) and increase yield (faster and more), animals are produced in Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) complete with the need for antibiotics (mainly from congested living space), animals are fed genetically modified and subsidized corn / soybean (not their natural foods), and cloning is coming soon if it is not here already (to produce a more consistent and cheaper product). As a result, vegetables are less nutritious than they were 50 years ago due to speed, and meat is less healthy due to the lack of proper fats (omega-3 from grass and seeds). Combine this with fast food and restaurant preparations, typically high in fats, salt, and/or sugar, then eat it constantly rather than occasionally, and we arrive at where we are today: fat and sick. Solution: stop feeding the machine and buy food from local sources if you can find and afford them. Have respect for your body and family and prepare real food at home. It tastes better, it is healthier, it supports your local farmer, and you know what you are really eating. If real meat is too expensive, just eat less of it. We really do not need to each eat one pound of steak with dinner... Some sources of real food: www.localharvest.org www.eatwild.com As far as any government action: stop the corn subsidies which: makes feeding cattle corn cheaper than their own natural food-- grass, it will make high fructose corn syrup more expensive, and generally make everyone healthier. If the government were to start actually regulating the food industry again instead of taking their payoffs/employees then perhaps we would have better food and be less unhealthy.