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:6/23/2017)... ARMONK, N.Y. and ITHACA, N.Y. ... IBM ) and Cornell University, a leader in dairy ... combined with bioinformatics designed to help reduce the chances ... breaches. With the onset of this dairy project, Cornell ... the Consortium for Sequencing the Food Supply Chain, a ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... Italy , May 23, 2017  Hunova, the first robotic gym ... trunk, has been officially launched in Genoa, Italy . ... Europe and the USA . The technology ... on the market by the IIT spin-off Movendo Technology thanks to a ... the Multimedia News Release, please click: ...
(Date:5/16/2017)...   Bridge Patient Portal , an enterprise ... EMR Systems , an electronic medical record solutions ... established a partnership to build an interface between ... Centricity™ products, including Centricity Practice Solution (CPS), Centricity ... new integrations will allow healthcare delivery networks using ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:7/20/2017)... ... ... Dr. Asher Kimchi, Founder and Chairman of the International Academy of ... 22nd World Congress on Heart Disease held in Vancouver, BC, Canada. In addition to ... Awards. , Dr. Asher Kimchi, together with Co-Chairmen Dr. John A. Elefteriades and Dr. ...
(Date:7/20/2017)... , ... July 20, 2017 , ... Corporate Directors Forum ... its 27th annual Director of the Year Awards. , The awards will be presented ... This annual event celebrates directors who have made significantly positive contributions in the ...
(Date:7/18/2017)... ... 18, 2017 , ... G-CON today announced that it has ... its Patent Applications 14/858,857 and 13/669,785 both entitled Modular, Self-Contained, Mobile Clean Room. ... the protection of G-CON’s R&D investments and validate the G-CON platform as a ...
(Date:7/17/2017)... ... ... The Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) will host Aviation Adventure Day on ... from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the International Aeromodeling Center in Muncie, Indiana. ... Day will be packed with entertaining activities for the entire family. Attendees will learn ...
Breaking Biology Technology: