Unfortunately, there is still a wide mismatch of information on what is considered “healthy” (or “healthie” 🙂 ) between the general public and nutrition professionals. We highly recommend checking out the recent NYTimes article, which reviewed general perceptions of various foods, and how that compared to how nutrition experts thought about health and nutrients.
Shockingly, the biggest disparities were in foods like granola bars, frozen yogurt, and coconut oil. The general population considered these food to be healthy, though food experts disagreed. Moreover, foods like quinoa, hummus, tofu and shrimp were all considered healthy by nutrition experts, while the public was not convinced of the benefits.
The simple conclusion that we at Healthie drew from this report:
Every American needs to see an RD.
It was quite alarming to see the disparities in what the general public perceives to be healthy, and what professionals know to be true. Food marketing campaigns, information on the news and media, and good branding are influencing public opinion. The public deserves better, and it is up to the RD community to spread the word and make sure Americans are properly educated and informed about the benefits (and healthiness) of the foods they consume. This has DIRECT and massive implications for rates of obesity and chronic disease in this country. We are extremely grateful for the work of RDs and can’t wait to see more Americans benefiting from the work and support provided.