May 6, 2016
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has released the results of its 2014 Health and Diet Survey, a national telephone survey of 2,480 adults (18 years and older) in the 50 states and the District of Columbia, conducted from June to August 2014. The survey helps the FDA make informed regulatory, educational, and other decisions with a better understanding of consumer knowledge, attitudes, and practices about current and emerging nutrition and labeling issues. It also identifies any changes in consumers’ knowledge, attitudes, and practices. FDA researchers analyze the data in this and previous surveys, and the FDA encourages other researchers to use the data as well.
The 2014 survey, the eleventh conducted since the survey began in 1982, was the first Health and Diet Survey to sample cell phone users. Among the survey’s key findings:
- Fifty percent of adults said they read the Nutrition Facts label “always” or “most of the time,” while another 27 percent said they read the label “sometimes” when buying a food product.
- Nearly 90 percent of adults thought that American adults ate more salt than they should, and three-quarters said that products in supermarkets contained more or the same amount of salt as five years ago.
- Ninety percent of the adults had heard about trans fat (or trans fatty acid) in foods. Sixty-six percent of these adults knew that trans fat raises the risk of heart disease. Yet, a quarter of adults could not tell whether trans fat raises or lowers the risk of heart disease.
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