Del Monte Foods, Inc. released the 2020 State of Healthy Eating in America Study, revealing that one in three Americans confess they were never taught about nutrition, contributing to confusion around what it means to eat healthy. The study also revealed that while 70% of Americans say that when they eat a healthy diet they feel like "the best version of themselves," 32% of millennials feel a "significant amount of social pressure and anxiety" around what they eat.
What's clear from the study is that Americans have complex feelings towards healthy eating. While 86% of Americans say that eating fruits and vegetables is crucial to maintaining a healthy diet, trying to eat well remains a large stress factor (49%) for all generations. This stress can perhaps be attributed to a variety of notions including:
- 63% of people think they must sacrifice fun to eat healthy
- 30% think they'd have to reduce restaurant outings to afford healthier food
- One in five Americans think they'd have to give up entertainment subscriptions (Netflix, Spotify, etc.) to maintain a healthy diet
As one of the original plant-based companies, Del Monte Foods has always stood by its mission in making fruits and vegetables attainable and affordable to everyone. Coming off a recent partnership announcement with nonprofit GrowingGreat – a natural alliance which expands the leading food brand's Growers of Good™ initiative – Del Monte Foods has increased its effort to bring hands-on nutrition education to elementary and middle school children nationwide to help empower a generation of healthy eaters for the future and close the gap. These programs will help address an important concern among parents as 50% worry that that if their children don't get fruits and vegetables, they will not achieve their full potential in life.
The study also found that 78% of people think fresh food is healthy and only 13% of people consider packaged food to be healthy. But, according to the Produce for Better Health Foundation, at least five servings of fruits and vegetables are encouraged daily, including all forms of fruits and vegetables – fresh, frozen, canned, dried and 100% juice – which offer generally consistent nutritional benefits that can improve health and overall diet quality. Greater education around healthy choices can help further alleviate stress around eating as 58% of Americans said they find it more difficult to keep fresh food in their home and one in three believed it to a waste of money because it goes bad so quickly; alternatives can help Americans get the nutritional benefits they need more easily.
"A lot of nutrition misinformation exists around the topic of healthy eating, and people can easily feel overwhelmed and confused," said Sally Kuzemchak, RD. "But healthy eating doesn't need to be complicated and should be accessible to all."