Who's responsible for nutrition? Nearly half say food makers

By Caroline Scott-Thomas

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Percent, Nutrition

Although most consumers think they are responsible for making sure the food they eat is nutritious, nearly half hold food manufacturers and processors responsible, according to a new survey.

The survey, conducted online by independent market researchers, was carried out on behalf of the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) for its US Grocery Shopper Trends report, among a nationally representative sample of 2,048 adults.

It found that despite consumers saying that they are concerned about nutrition, financial worries, compounded with rising fuel and commodity costs, are continuing to impact their behaviors during 2011, and are complicating decisions about healthy eating.

The proportion of survey respondents saying they are ‘very concerned’ about healthy eating has dropped to 39 percent, from 45 percent last year – and although most (82 percent) hold themselves responsible for ensuring the nutritional value of their food, others are looking to food manufacturers (48 percent), government agencies (30 percent) and retailers (29 percent) to make sure the foods they eat are nutritious.

Nevertheless, only 44 percent said they incorporate at least one healthy food into their diet.

The FMI survey revealed that consumer confusion about nutrition labeling is a possible barrier to healthy eating. Although just 17 percent said they could use some help in understanding nutrition information labels, less than one-third (29 percent) said they consider themselves ‘very knowledgeable’ about nutritional information and nearly half (49 percent) said they were not expert in this area.

Food safety confidence rises

The FMI also found that as a result of relatively few high-profile recalls in 2011 and better technology for quick communication of food product recalls, consumer confidence in food safety is at its highest point in seven years. It found that 88 percent of consumers said they are ‘completely’ or ‘somewhat’ confident in the safety of the food sold at the supermarket.

The survey also found that men are much more likely to be comfortable with the safety of food imported from Latin America than women, at 76 percent and 58 percent respectively. Meanwhile, 97 percent of consumers said they were ‘very’ or ‘somewhat’ comfortable with the safety of food grown in the United States.

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2 comments

How Safe is our food if it is not fulfilling with its nutritional goals? It is Everyone's Business!

Posted by Laura I Dudet,

Thank you for this article and insight on Corporate and Social responsibility. I am also agree with the comment of J. Friedman and wish to extend the good willing of a better world by all together (business, Governments, population, Health care professional, Regulatory bodies, scientists, technologists, overall food chain from farm to our table/ restaurants/ schools/etc and consumers by saying Food Safety (nutritional value included) Health & Wellness is a good business and it is EVERYONE Responsibility!, Lets work together!.
Kind regards,
Laura I Dudet, Canada

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Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf??

Posted by J. Friedman,

So let the food manufactures and food processors continue being the "BIG BAD WOLVES". The population of "Little Red Riding Hoods" should take care of their own protection regarding nutrition. Why should we let big business be in charge of our health. By the looks of things, they certainly haven't done a very good job nor should they! When a company looks out for their share holders, Little Red Riding Hood doesn't stand a chance.
Moral of this story...."EVERYONE should take the responsibility for their own health and nutrition by doing due diligence and not depend on big "Brother" to keep us healthy.
What a better world this would be!

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