Would You Rather: Do Your Own Taxes or Eat Healthfully? [Body Blog]
When tax day rolled around in April, I heard people complaining about their taxes everywhere I went. Everybody who’s had a paying job has had to deal with taxes, and everybody who has had to deal with taxes loves to complain about them.
But according to a recent survey, there’s one thing Americans hate even more than doing their taxes – figuring out how to eat a healthy diet. The survey was conducted by the International Food Information Council Foundation as part of their 2012 Food and Health Survey. Subjects answered questions online, and more than 1,ooo American men and women from ages 18 to 80 participated.
It turns out that 52% of those people think that it’s easier to do their own taxes than to figure out how to eat healthfully. The good news is that almost every single one of these people said they were making some kind of effort to improve their diet. The most popular changes were eating more fruits and vegetables or drinking more water and low-calorie beverages, and cutting back on intake of fat, salt, and sugars.
Nine out of ten people surveyed described their health as good or better, which is an improvement over past findings. But although they consider themselves to be in good health, one in five people rated their diet as not very healthful.
Men reported that they were more challenged by trying to eat healthfully than trying to maintain regular exercise. The opposite was true for women. More than half of the survey’s participants reported that they were trying to lose weight.
Another interesting finding was that only one in seven people could correctly estimate the number of calories they needed to eat per day to maintain their weight. And three out of four people thought that changes in nutrition advice made it hard to know what to believe.
I think these findings show that we need a system of nutrition guidelines that is more specific and easier to understand. Personally, I’d rather put together a healthy meal than do my own taxes. But it’s definitely not always easy to know if what you’re eating really is good for you.
What do YOU think? Do you feel like you have trouble following a healthy diet?
Garnet is a student at Columbia University in New York City. She is “that person” who starts dancing at a party when everyone else is standing around, and if there were a Facebook stalking Olympics, she would be a gold medalist. She also loves cheesy 90s music, and almost died of happiness when Vanilla Ice retweeted her. Once. Follow her on Twitter @garnethenderson.