In my last post I asked:
So why don’t more people eat better? I would love to know a way to do a real survey and find out the causes – what percent of people don’t know any better, which don’t care, can’t afford to eat better, how many are too stressed and busy to take the time, etc.
Then yesterday I saw this press release from Johns Hopkins: “Johns Hopkins researchers examine why people eat the foods they do“.
Their study assessed the dietary choices of 4,356 U.S. adults from 20 to 65 years old. They found that ethnic, gender and income levels played a big role in the choices people made. I didn’t see a mention of the role of that education levels might play or how a busier, more stress filled life may influence what people eat.
The socio-economic status and income levels of those surveyed were taken into account though. I would guess that both of these tend to correlate with education levels – leading to a lot of people not eating right because they honestly don’t know any better.
It seems likely that stress and a busy lifestyle play a part also. I’m sure there are many people out there with very little time who eat fast food – because it is fast. Working long hours, running around here and there taking care of errands and doing stuff with kids makes it very difficult for many to be at home and cook regular meals.
And for myself – whenever I feel a bit stressed I tend to grab the most saltiest, fattiest*, sugary foods I can find around the house, regardless of how much good nutritious food we have.
Its not easy to eat right with when we are constantly surrounded by food that is not good for us to eat – but tastes good. Between advertising, people around us eating badly and all the junk in grocery stores sitting real close to the good stuff – its a wonder anyone eats well.
I would still love to get more data on why people eat what they do – especially the roles that knowledge of nutrition, general education levels and stress play. With more information it would be easier to identify the groups that need the most help and then find ways to make eating right easier for them.
(* “saltiest, fattiest” – are those real words? I don’t know, but I like them – them seem to make the point better.)
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