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Food in the News: 2018 Food & Health Survey
May 24

Food in the News: 2018 Food & Health Survey

By Let's Move Pittsburgh

To increase awareness of children’s health and wellness topics, Phipps' Let’s Move Pittsburgh program presents Food in the News, a column on local, state and national health policies and nutrition related updates that impact you.

The International Food Information Counsel Foundation (IFIC) annually surveys American consumers to better understand their perceptions, beliefs, and behaviors with regard to food and food purchasing. To do so, the foundation interviewed 1,009 Americans, ages 18-80, between March 12 and March 26, 2018. Popular topics included: Nutrition in the Media, Consumer Eating Patterns, and Food Insecurity. 


Nutrition Imposition

Consumers wish to eat healthy in order to maximize their cardiovascular health, boost their energy, and manage their weight. However, 80% of respondents agreed that “there is a lot of conflicting information about what foods they should eat or avoid.” Likewise, 59% of respondents agreed that “the conflicting information about what they should be eating makes them doubt the [food-related] choices that they make.”  This begs the question: Where can consumers turn for reliable nutrition-related advice? Consumers can seek the advice of Registered Dietitian-Nutritionists (RDNs) who are licensed to confer nutrition information. For more nutrition-related resources, please visit: https://www.eatright.org.  


MyPlate vs. My Plate

The IFIC survey suggests that 1 in 3 individuals followed a specific eating pattern in the past year—most commonly: intermittent fasting, paleo, and gluten-free patterns. Conversely, only 3 in 10 participants knew at least a “fair amount” about MyPlate: the current nutrition guide published by the USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion and based upon the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The infographic below compares a typical American entrée plate to MyPlate standards.


The Importance of Sustainability

The survey also found that sustainability awareness is increasingly important among consumers. 59% of participants reported that sustainability was either somewhat or very important when purchasing food products — an increase from the previous year. Among those who found sustainability important, the word “sustainable” most often meant that a food item contains a reduced amount of pesticides, that the item ensures an affordable food supply, and that the item conserves the natural habitat. Phipps Conservatory is doing its part to provide sustainable food options, as our very own Café Phipps offers a fresh, flavorful and affordable menu including many organic and local food items!


Make sure to read the full 2018 Food & Health Survey to learn more!


Source: International Food Information Council Foundation. 2018 Food & Health Survey. 2018:1-63.

Photo credit: Pixabay CC0 Creative Commons