8 in 10 Americans are confused about healthy foods — specifically, what the definition of “healthy” is. Mixed messages abound, so what should we be eating?
The International Food Information Council Foundation has conducted a new survey of American attitudes towards food, and the results are quite eye-opening. A whopping 80% of survey respondents reported that they feel confused about which foods are actually healthy and which are bad, due to mixed messages and conflicting information they have read, seen, or heard.
This reality about the way our nation’s citizens view their food choices is disheartening for medical professionals who are personally invested in their patients’ wellness and nutritional integrity. If you’ve read the Urgent 9 blog for any length of time, you know that we preach a core message of the food you eat being a preventative medicine of sorts. Making good decisions about what you put in your body tends to result in a body that functions better and gives you fewer problems.
This problem of inconsistent and conflicting messaging from the media is causing trouble for American citizens in numerous areas of their life — and now, it seems, their nutrition is the latest realm affected. When you can’t be sure if what you’ve just read or heard is real or not, it becomes disorienting and hard to know who to trust and which sources are viable outlets of information. More than ever, it’s becoming important for Americans to hone their critical thinking abilities and their aptitude for determining whether a source of information is credible.
When you’re not sure what to trust, when you feel like you’re being lied to or misled, a natural reaction could be to simply disengage and give up trying altogether. This is a dangerous attitude that can lead to a host of problems, not the least of which being a propensity for obesity and all the related medical ills that tend to befall obese individuals.
We have a major problem with obesity in America, but have we ever considered that our media messaging might be part of the problem? In the consumeristic race to sell more processed foods and have the most profitable dietary products, we’ve sold out our own citizenry by helping to make them nutritionally deficient and overweight. Food manufacturers and retailers are complicit in America’s obesity epidemic by intentionally misrepresenting the nutritional content of the items they tantalizingly offer for sale. The definition of what constitutes “healthy”, “low-fat”, and other sale-inducing phrases, seemingly shifts overnight.
Remember, your dietary habits are a big responsibility you have in terms of keeping yourself healthy and preventing problems down the line. And in a way, it all starts with your mind — your ability to ascertain what kinds of foods you should really be eating.