Consumers confused by diet health, says new research


London: Research out today shows that the current barrage of health and food information has confused people to the extent that one in four (26%) now choose to ignore government diet and nutrition advice. Instead, millions of Brits now rely on ‘pop-science’ advice from family and friends.

The research from juice and juice drink brand ‘Minute Maid’1 reveals that amid claim and counter claim, a worrying number of Brits are rejecting basic healthy eating maxims:
• One in six (17%) don’t believe that being overweight can lead to a heart attack or stroke
• A fifth (21%) don’t believe the basic ‘five-a-day’ guide on fruit and veg2
• Less than half (43%) believe they need vitamins to keep the body functioning
• Conversely, a fifth DO believe that eating an apple a day keeps the doctor away

Moreover, instead of getting information about healthy eating from a GP or nutritionist, most Brits rely on their family and friends (31%) as well as other media sources such as TV programmes (25%) and the internet (47%). Leading expert nutritionist, Nigel Denby says “ItÂ’s perhaps not surprising that thereÂ’s often confusion around some of these issues, particularly when people rely on hearsay and information from family and friends rather than heeding expert advice – often it simply boils down to the fact that health messages can be complicated, confusing and often conflicting”.

Such is the level of confusion about whatÂ’s healthy and whatÂ’s not, two thirds (60%) of shoppers admit they struggle to make the right choice in the supermarket.

Health alone isn’t a good enough reason for many people to take notice of advice on healthy eating – more than half (57%) say they would take notice if it was easier and one in eight (12%) would only be interested if it made them more attractive.

Some nutritionists are concerned that important messages on healthy eating arenÂ’t getting though because theyÂ’re too complicated. Expert Nigel Denby said:

“It’s understandable that some people are confused about how to eat a healthy diet because there’s so much information out there, but if people ignore the basics of healthy eating then the UK could face long term health consequences, such as obesity, heart disease and diabetes.”

Commenting on the research, Robert Spencer, Brand Director from ‘Minute Maid’ said: “The research is concerning because in spite of good intentions it looks like people don’t know which way to turn when it comes to good food. Even those who do buy fresh fruit and veg don’t always get the benefits as a third us don’t get round to eating it and end up throwing it out.”

The ‘Minute Maid’ ‘Keeping Healthy Simple’ campaign aims to provide clear advice in relation to benefits and a range of easy to understand, great tasting juice and juice drinks – a 250ml serving also provides one of those all important ‘five a day’.

For advice on healthy eating go to