Most people think their diet is healthier than it is

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Most people think their diet is healthier than it is

How healthy is your diet? It seems like a simple question, but according to a new study, it’s one that most Americans struggle to get right.

The study’s lead author, Jessica Thomson, Ph.D., a research epidemiologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service, told EurekAlert, “We found that only a small percentage of U.S. adults can accurately assess the healthfulness of their diet, and interestingly, it’s mostly those who perceive their diet as poor who are able to accurately assess their diet.”

Dr. Thompson added, “Additionally, most adults overrate the quality of their diet, sometimes to a substantial degree.”

Thomson presented the findings online at NUTRITION 2022 LIVE ONLINE, the flagship annual meeting of the American Society for Nutrition held June 14-16.

According to EurekAlert:

The study used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, a nationally representative survey of U.S. adults conducted every two years. Participants were asked to complete detailed 24-hour dietary recall questionnaires and rate their diet as excellent, very good, good, fair, or poor.

The study revealed significant disconnects between the researcher-calculated scores and how participants ranked their own diet. Out of over 9,700 participants, about 8,000 (roughly 85%) inaccurately assessed their diet quality. Of those, almost all (99%) overrated the healthfulness of their diet.

My recommendation? If you’re not sure that your or your family’s nutrition is the best it can be, schedule a visit with your family physician or a Registered Dietitian (RD) or Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN). This is one consult that will be worth its weight in gold.

Please note that abstracts presented at medical meetings are usually evaluated and selected by a committee of experts but have not generally undergone the same peer-review process required for publication in a scientific journal. As such, the findings presented should be considered preliminary until a peer-reviewed publication is available.


© Copyright WLL, INC. 2022. This blog provides healthcare tips and advice that you can trust about a wide variety of general health information only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from your regular physician. If you are concerned about your health, take what you learn from this blog and meet with your personal doctor to discuss your concerns.

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