People are completely baffled about how to eat healthily, and particularly struggle when they are at work or university.
A poll of 500 adults by the British Nutrition Foundation (BNF) found that 68% are “motivated to eat healthily to control their weight”. In fact, 61% “always or often” check nutrition labels on food. Calories (64%), sugar (68%) and fat (60%) are the main things they look out for.
However, 43% of find it difficult to find reliable information on healthy diets, with changing information, messages and advice from media and causing most confusion.
Indeed, social media platforms (37%) are now the most common source for nutritional information, followed by the NHS website (30%), other health websites (25%) and doctors, hospitals or health clinics (14%).
Busy lives and stress are also preventing 48% from eating healthily. A third of adults said work pressures make it difficult to eat well and take a proper lunch break; a quarter said they do not have enough time to prepare healthy foods when at work.
Almost one in four (24%) said there are limited healthy food and drink options available at work or close by and 28% said there were too many unhealthy snacks available in their work setting.
BNF managing director Roy Ballam said there seem to be a number of barriers within workplaces and universities that make healthy eating difficult. The lack of reliable information on healthy eating is also a “huge cause for concern”.
“The public need to receive more consistent messaging about diet and nutrition if we are to stand a fighting chance of changing these worrying health statistics,” Ballam explained.