YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

BOOSTER SHOTS BLOG: Oddities, musings and news from
the health world

At least Americans aspire to be healthy eaters ...

January 04, 2011|By Karen Kaplan, Los Angeles Times
  • Is this what you had for lunch? Probably not.
Is this what you had for lunch? Probably not. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles…)

Do you think you’re a healthy eater?

Odds are, the answer is yes. According to a new survey from Consumer Reports, nine out of 10 Americans give themselves credit for consuming a diet that’s at least “somewhat” healthy.

But at least some of us are fooling ourselves, the consumer group warns.

For instance, 43% of the 1,234 people surveyed owned up to drinking at least one full-calorie soda, caramel Frappuccino or bubble tea per day. Even among those who said they were dieting, 26% indulged in at least one such drink each weekday, along with 30% of those claiming to be watching the amount of sugar they consumed and 34% who said their diets were “very” or “extremely” healthy.

And when it came to fruits and vegetables, 58% of those surveyed said they got the recommended five or more servings per day. But Consumer Reports has its doubts. When presented with a list of 33 vegetables, 15 of them were consistently described as “rarely” or “never” eaten. (Parsnips were the least popular veggie, rated as “rarely” or “never” eaten by 87% of survey respondents. Swiss chard came in a close second, seriously disliked by 86% of those surveyed.) Even more troubling is this September report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finding that more than two-thirds of Americans eat only one serving of fruit and vegetables each day – or skip them entirely.

More evidence that we’re probably not eating as well as we think: 36% of survey takers were overweight, according to their body mass index, and another 21% were obese. About one-third of the people who said they had a healthy weight (defined by the National Institutes of Health as a BMI between 18.5 and 24.9) were actually in the overweight category, the survey found.

You can read the full results here, and take Consumer Reports’ Healthy Eating Quiz here.

Los Angeles Times Articles