Garnish Your Heavy Eating With Some Light Reading

We have an increasingly obese population, but at least it’s a well-informed obese population. A survey by ORC International finds 75 percent of Americans saying they read the nutrition labels on packaged foods; 74 percent claim to understand most or all of the information these labels give. Women are more likely than men to read the data (82 percent vs. 68 percent); consumers age 55 and older are more likely to do so than those under 55 (82 percent vs. 73 percent). One simply wonders whether these folks settle down with a bag of jelly donuts as they do all this reading. With the holiday season looming, consumers are apt to cut themselves even more dietary slack. On that topic, another portion of ORC’s polling finds 90 percent of respondents saying they usually have a traditional Thanksgiving dinner—turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and all. Those living outside metropolitan areas are a shade more likely to do so than those living in metro areas, by a margin of 94 percent to 88 percent. The survey found a surprising degree of regional variation on the crucial pumpkin-pie issue: 82 percent of respondents in the West usually top off the Thanksgiving meal with pumpkin pie, versus 80 percent of those in the North Central region, 69 percent in the Northeast and 61 percent in the South.