You Are What You Eat, Not What You Say You Eat takes

If fibbing about our dietary habits burned vast numbers of calories, the U.S. would have a svelte population. The thought comes to mind in examining the results of a Wirthlin Worldwide survey on what people eat. Asked to compare their current diet to that of two or three years ago, 55 percent of adults said they’re eating low-fat foods more often. Similarly, 61 percent said they’re eating high-fiber foods more often, and 76 percent claimed to be eating more fresh fruits and vegetables. At the same time, 49 percent said they’re eating red meat less often (versus 26 percent saying they now do so more often), and 67 percent said they’ve cut back on fast foods. The number claiming they indulge less often in snacks and treats (59 percent) was more than double the number confessing they do so more often (25 percent). Respondents’ claims would be easier to swallow if the evidence of our eyes did not confirm numerous studies showing a rise in obesity. There were telltale signs of this reality, as when a plurality (44 percent) said they’re counting calories less often. The chart below suggests consumers have latched onto the idea that their emotions are more determinative of health than such physical factors as diet and exercise. But what if one’s emotional well-being is boosted by eating Krispy Kremes while stretching out in a recliner? One indication of consumers’ conflicted feelings on the topic: 20 percent said they’re “concerned” about what they eat, “but don’t really do anything about it.”