Health Food Myths

Two studies reveal what Americans believe is healthy and how much they are willing to spend on eating better.


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When it comes to eating healthy, two recent studies shed light on Americans’ eating habits when dining out and choosing dietary options. According to a study by the NPD group, about 55 percent of people 25 to 49 years old expect that healthier fare should cost exactly the same as regular menu items. Seventy percent of people surveyed over the age of 50 said they wouldn’t be willing to pay more for nutritious meals, whereas 30 percent of consumers aged 18 to 24 agreed to paying premium prices for quality wholesome offerings. A separate study illustrates that most dieters equate healthy adjectives to health food rather than reading ingredient labels. For example, participants who consider themselves dieters in the study by University of South Carolina researchers ate more candy labeled “fruit chews” than “candy chews,” believing the fruit chew to be a better option.