Why We Don't Eat Healthy Food

Diet-Blog offers up five reasons why Americans don’t eat healthfully:
Despite all the campaigns to promote fruit and vegetable intake - only a third of Americans eat two or more pieces of fruit per day. 25% don't eat any vegetables at all (ref).

Why not?

Recent research from Mintel shows 5 reasons for not eating healthy:
1. Availability
2. Cost
3. Confusion
4. Time constraints
5. Taste concerns
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Comments (7) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Kirsten - April 19, 2007 12:28 PM

I'm with the commenters on the blog. I think taste must be the number 1 reason, though folks might not want to admit it. I'm sure cost is a factor, since most of us can't think in terms of months or years ahead, much less decades.
There are so many convenience whole foods--most fruit, bagged/boxed greens, baby carrots, frozen vegs and veggie mixes, canned beans. Most whole foods can be eaten with not much more fuss than frozen dinners or mac'n'cheese type things.
Habit must be a HUGE factor. We eat what we know, especially when we are stressed or pressed for time.

Jill - April 19, 2007 4:12 PM

I agree with Kirsten. I think taste would be #1. I know it is for me. We have a strong desire to be healthier and have been on a journey towards better health for 2 years now. And I know we need to go a step further in eating more RAW foods...but it is the taste factor that holds me back.
And availability is a factor too. Becuase it is just not simple to buy fresh organic fruits and veggies when the store is 30 minutes away and you have to tote a 3 yr old and 4 yr old with you each time.

Suzanne - April 19, 2007 4:59 PM

Availability of produce, in reality, is a huge factor in many urban areas. My husband and I choose to live in an economically oppressed, large inner city and it is difficult for many of our neighbors to acquire fresh produce. The "grocery stores" within walking distance are hardly anything but convenience stores carrying junk food. If there are fruits and veggies they are half rotten before even reaching the shelves. Even the "chain" grocery stores that are top notch in the suburbs are really crappy in the city. I honestly think that they save the wilted, rotten stuff for our neighborhoods. Many times I have left without any produce at all because it just wasn't edible. Luckily, I'm in the position to get in my car and shop elsewhere for healthy foods. For those people who must rely on public transportation, lugging home groceries from a decent store can take well over an hour and involve multiple transfers (even though I can easily get there by car in 15 minutes). Add this on top of working long hours, dealing with inclement weather, carting along small children, etc. and some people just don't feel able to consistently buy the healthy foods their bodies need, even if they want to. Combine this with inferior public education lacking any real health information and yucky school lunch programs and many inner cities are nutritional wastelands. It is a very sad and unfortunate reality that many of us see daily.

Kirsten - April 19, 2007 5:30 PM

Jill, I'm with you on the shopping woes--my wee ones are 2, 2 and almost 4. I LOVE Costco for the large quantities of quality produce we can stock up on. Sometimes it's organic, but we can at least get domestic produce if we pay attention.
Find some dressings you like for salads--I'm hooked on the taste of the one we make plus the salsa we make and add to our salads--I look forward to my two large salads each day. But then, I like eating the same thing each day if I can ... :)

Rob Hudson - April 19, 2007 5:43 PM

My question is do you have knowledge of a product called juice plus( fruits and vegetables in a pill)? and if so would it be a good alternative to consuming whole fruits and vegetables? The companies marketing materials promotes whole food nutrition and suggest the use of their product because we dont ,wont ,and cant consume enough whole plant foods.
I would really like to know what you think about this specific products benifits for people who will not eat the real thing?

g-mama - April 20, 2007 3:41 PM

Just the other day I saw a McDonalds special- 5 cheeseburgers for $5. You could feed your whole family dinner for $5. I think cost is an obvious culprit and unfortunately I don't see what can be done about that.

Monty - April 24, 2007 2:50 PM

The main reason most of us don't eat healthy food is operant conditioning by the media, schools, etc. to eat the unhealthy food that they're selling. People are not conscious of the food they're eating; it's all conditioned reflex. If you try to tell them something about their food preferences, the input will be blocked by their conditioning, and they will be unresponsive or possibly become belligerent.

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