UK – Consumers lack adequate knowledge about the nutritional benefits of food and the essential nutrients they have in their diet, according to new research released by Arla Foods.
Lack of food literacy, a broad knowledge gap is what the report says stands in the way of ensuring healthier diets and lifestyles among consumers.
According to the research, 40% of the surveyed individuals admitted they feel lacking in some of the essentials while almost half of the people don’t recognise dairy products as a natural source of vitamins and minerals.
Conducted by YouGov analysis institute on more than 7,000 people across Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Finland and the UK, the research found out that people tend to skip a meal even though they are hungry, partially blamed on saving time.
This comes even as demand to live a healthier lifestyle is increasing, thus need to educate them on what to consume and the nutritional benefits that come with them.
“It’s clear from the research that there is still a lot to educate consumers on when it comes to nutrition.
The demand to live healthier lives is constantly increasing yet we can only do this when we truly understand our food and the impact that food has on our body.
Food literacy needs to be improved so people can compose meals which are rich and varied in essential nutrients.
Establishing good food habits is the foundation of what we at Arla stand for to help people across the world live a healthy life,” said Hanne Sondergaard, CMO at Arla Foods.
Misconceptions hinder healthy dieting
The research revealed that ‘unhealthy’ misconceptions around certain products hinder consumers from freely shopping or buying them.
Some holds that there is more than 10% fat in whole milk when actually it only contains under 4%, with semi-skimmed having around 1.7%.
Such confusions were highlighted in Finland and said to be prevalent across European countries, with three quarters of people in Sweden not recognising dairy products as a source of protein.
German may be lacking in key vitamins and nutrients as a quarter of the people only eat one main meal a day while in Denmark 1 in 3 people cut a specific food from their diet.
North Europeans highlighted the need to reduce the amount of sugar, a scenario also seen in people across Denmark, Sweden, Finland, UK and Germany.
Arla said it is counting on such trends to support its branded milk products, with a goal to support healthier lifestyles among consumers by limiting the amount of added sugar, fat and salt.
“As one of the world’s leading dairy companies, we can develop improved products and new initiatives that can inspire better health in everyday life.
This means that we have both a responsibility and opportunity to make a difference to global diet-related health challenges,” said Hanne Sondergaard.
Only 40% of people recognize high levels of protein are contained in cow’s milk.
A total of 34% of people cut a food from their diet, of those 45 per cent do so because they believe it will make them healthier.
Half of people decide to cut out a food from after their twenties, with 1 in 5 citing they do so from being a teenager.
When it comes to skipping meals, breakfast is the most common with over half of those people giving it a miss in the morning.
In Sweden and Denmark, more than 40% of people also skip lunch.
23% of people cite losing weight and reducing calorie intake as a reason for skipping meals.