Navigation Links
A new paradox on our plate?
Date:3/28/2012

Quebec City -- A study by Universit Laval's Maurice Doyon and French and American researchers shows that U.S. consumers know surprisingly more about the fat content of the foods they buy than their French counterparts. Paradoxically, the obesity rate is nearly three times higher in the United States (35%) than it is in France (12%). In light of these results, published in a recent edition of the British Food Journal, the researchers cast doubt on the notion that providing nutritional information is an effective way to encourage healthy eating habits.

Dr. Doyon of the Faculty of Agriculture and Food Sciences, along with his colleagues Laure Saulais, Bernard Ruffieux (France), and Harry Kaiser (United States) had over 300 French, Quebec, and American consumers answer a questionnaire designed to test what they knew about dietary fats. Questions dealt with the amount and types of fat contained in various foods and what the nutritional recommendations are regarding these fats. Participants were asked to answer "Don't know" rather than hazard a guess.

The first finding: French respondents admitted to not knowing the answer to 43% of the questions, while the equivalents for Quebec and the United States were 13% and 4% respectively. Fifty-five percent of French respondents said they did not know the percentage of fat in whole milk, compared with 5% for Quebec and 4% for the United States. The same trend was observed for butter, margarine, and vegetable oils.

The second finding: when participants tried to answer, Americans were most likely to be right, followed by Quebecers, with the French bringing up the rear. And 6% of Quebecers, 9% of Americans, and 17% of the French did not know the recommendations regarding saturated and unsaturated fats in a healthy diet.

"The difference among respondents' knowledge," said Professor Doyon, "essentially indicates that the French don't take much of an interest in the nutrients contained in the foods they eat. The information is on the package, but they don't read it."

According to the researchers, the correlation found between extensive nutritional knowledge and high obesity rates suggests that focusing on detailed nutritional information may not be the best strategy for encouraging healthy eating habits.

"It's an approach that presents information to consumers in a broken down form," suggested Dr. Doyon. "This may lead them to think of food in terms of its fat, carbohydrate, and caloric content and lose sight of the whole picture. It might be better to focus on what constitutes a healthy, complete, and balanced meal."


'/>"/>
Contact: Jean-Franois Hupp
jean-francois.huppe@dc.ulaval.ca
418-656-7785
Universit Laval
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Researchers identify why dopamine replacement therapy has a paradoxical effect on cognition
2. Researchers analyze the environmentalists paradox
3. Scientists find climate change to have paradoxical effects in coastal wetlands
4. Grays Paradox solved: Researchers discover secret of speedy dolphins
5. What fish is on your plate?
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/19/2016)... 2016 The new GEZE SecuLogic ... web-based "all-in-one" system solution for all door components. It ... the door interface with integration authorization management system, and ... The minimal dimensions of the access control and the ... installations offer considerable freedom of design with regard to ...
(Date:4/14/2016)... TEL AVIV, Israel , April 14, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... in Behavioral Authentication and Malware Detection, today announced the ... has already assumed the new role. Goldwerger,s ... for BioCatch, on the heels of the deployment of ... In addition, BioCatch,s behavioral biometric technology, which discerns unique ...
(Date:3/31/2016)... , March 31, 2016  Genomics firm Nabsys has ... CEO, Barrett Bready , M.D., who returned to ... the original technical leadership team, including Chief Technology Officer, ... Product Development, Steve Nurnberg and Vice President of Software ... the company. Dr. Bready served as CEO ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/26/2016)... 2016 Despite the volatility that continues ... space. Today,s pre-market research on ActiveWallSt.com directs the investor community,s ... RDUS ), Cerus Corp. (NASDAQ: CERS ... Five Prime Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: FPRX ). Register ... http://www.activewallst.com/ On Wednesday, shares in ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... , ... May 26, 2016 , ... ... FireflySci cuvettes are used in leading laboratories all over the globe. Their cute ... In addition to manufacturing awesome cuvettes, FireflySci makes spectrophotometer calibration standards that never ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... May 25, 2016 , ... The Ankle Plating ... options designed to address fractures of the distal tibia and fibula. This system ... Ankle Plating System 3 is composed of seven plate families that span the ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... ... Scientists at the University of Athens say they have evidence that the variety ... that could lead to one good one. Surviving Mesothelioma has just posted an article ... team evaluated 98 mesothelioma patients who got a second kind of drug ...
Breaking Biology Technology: