Are you confused about healthy eating plans? Your uncertainty is understandable.

 

Questions abound: What do healthy eating plans look like? Non-fat or full fat? Should you worry about eating foods with cholesterol? Is coffee good or bad for us? Is a vegan diet the key to a healthy eating plan?

 

We are bombarded by nutrition studies on these questions and many others. But can we make sense of the conflicts and understand what makes a healthy eating plan?

 

The Pew Research Center has done a survey to understand if we are able to make sense of the onslaught of nutrition research or if we just end up totally confused.

 

Do We Understand Healthy Eating Plans?

 

Pew Research did a survey to ask if we are able to make sense of all the food science studies or whether the conflicting research just leads to confusion and distrust.

 

What they found is that our reaction to the nutritional studies varies depending on our knowledge of science.

Here are some of the study results: Three-in-five U.S. adults (61%) say “new research is constantly improving our understanding about the health effects of what people eat and drink, so it makes sense that these findings conflict with prior studies.”

 

By comparison, a sizable minority (37%), agrees with the statement that “research about the health effects of what people eat and drink cannot really be trusted because so many studies conflict with each other.”

 

Are You Confused About Healthy Eating Plans?

 

 

The survey discovered that those of us with lower levels of science knowledge are closely divided in our views about the contradictory food science studies. Half believe that food research can’t be trusted and an equal percentage think that inconsistent studies are a sign of progress in scientific understanding.

 

By comparison, those of us who have a good understanding of science are much more likely to evaluate the contradictory studies as an indication that the new research is constantly improving understanding. In fact, three-quarters of people who rate themselves as nutrition educated are not bothered by the varying recommendations of the studies.

 

 

Do We Have a Basic Understanding of Healthy Eating Plans?

 

 

According to the Pew study, 72% of us also say they we have a handle on what constitutes a healthy diet.

 

Again, the percentages vary by science knowledge. Over 90% of those of us with high science knowledge say we understand the core principles of healthy eating. But, if we have low science knowledge we are evenly divided about whether we understand the core ideas of healthy eating or say it’s difficult to know what to eat because of conflicting information.

 

Click here to read the full article about whether we understand healthy eating plans.