Do you know what temperature your meat should reach, but fail to test it with a thermometer? Do you own several cutting boards, but use only one for both vegetables and meat to avoid doing more dishes?
Like many Americans, you're suffering from diet disconnects: contradictions in belief and behavior when it comes to safe food preparation.
The International Food Information Council (IFIC) Foundation has conducted its third annual Food & Health Survey, which involved 1,000 American adults and took place over a two-and-a-half-week period in February and March of 2008.
According to a press release, more than three-quarters of Americans (82%) said they were confident in their ability to safely prepare food, but many also reported not following basic safety procedures in the kitchen to avoid the spread of bacteria.
Danielle Schor, Senior Vice President of Food Safety for the IFIC Foundation, was quoted in the release: "Consumers are a lot more confident about their ability to safely prepare food than they ought to be, based on what we learned."
There were seven diet disconnects found in the survey:
1. Food safety: 76% of Americans said they cook food to the required temperature, but only 48% reported using a different cutting board for each type of food and 29% reported using a food thermometer to measure the internal temperature of meat and poultry items.
2. Counting calories: 75% of Americans said they are concerned with their weight, but only 15% correctly estimated the recommended number of calories per day for a person their age, height, physical activity and weight. Only 31% correctly understood that calories from any source contribute equally to potential weight gain.
3. Diet and physical activity: 88% of Americans reported being physically active at least once a week, but 44% of those Americans said they do not "balance diet and physical activity" to manage their weight.
4. Breakfast: 92% of Americans agree that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, however, less than half (46%) of consumers eat breakfast seven days per week.
5. Dietary fats: The majority of consumers were concerned about fats, and awareness of trans fats increased to 91% of Americans. But more than 60% of consumers didnt understand that unsaturated fats are healthful.
6. Carbohydrates: More than two-thirds of consumers say they are trying to eat more of certain types of carbohydrates, like fiber and whole grains. But more than 50% are concerned with the amount of carbohydrates they consume.
7. Food and beverages with added health benefits: Nearly 80% of Americans agree that consuming specific foods can provide certain health and wellness benefits beyond basic nutrition. But 50% of Americans said they currently do not consume foods or beverages that deliver these benefits, although most are interested in doing so.
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