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It turns out that a trip to the supermarket can be a real head-scratcher for choosing healthy foods. The International Food Information Council Foundation’s 2017 Food & Health Survey hints that many Americans are flummoxed about what counts as good-for-you food. Nearly 80% of survey respondents said they face plenty of conflicting information about what foods to eat and which to avoid—and more than half of consumers are second-guessing what they place in their grocery carts.

Americans are consuming food information from more sources than ever before and are often inundated with competing advice about what’s healthy. (The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently launched an initiative to redefine what the word “healthy” means when used on food labels.) These days, everything from butter to fruit to coconut oil to whole grains has boasters and bashers on various media platforms. Thirty-two percent of survey respondents said the top influencers of their eating patterns or diets were family and friends, regardless of their grasp of nutritional science.

People also believed that more expensive products were likely to be healthier. Interestingly, those in the 50-to-80 age bracket were more confident in their food choices than 18- to 49-year-olds, who used more information sources when reaching decisions.

Does the glut of nutrition information lead you to question some of your own food choices? Where do you go for trusted nutrition information? What criteria do you set for a food to be deemed “healthy”? Send your responses to Sandy Todd Webster at [email protected].


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