Perception vs. Reality: Is That Food as Healthy as It’s Made Out to Be?

Nutritionists and the public have some interesting perceptions of ‘healthy’ foods.


That granola bar you bring with you to the gym — is it healthy? How about whole milk? That has to be unhealthy, right? Ask yourself a few of these questions and then stop for a moment. How many of your answers are based on hard data and how many are based on gut feelings?


The New York Times must have sensed this confusion, because they set out to do some hard research. By interviewing hundreds of nutritionist and a representative sample of the American people, they started to uncover some interesting things about the perception of foods.

While many people understand processed foods tend to be bad, beyond that, it gets complicated. Let’s take a look:



“We’re healthy, right?”

Sorry, beautiful campers, nutritionists don’t think so. While granola and granola bars generally have a positive health connotation, nutritionists do not view them that way. In the case of granola, only 47 percent of nutritionists think it’s healthy, while 80 percent of the American public does.

In the case of granola bars, 28 percent of nutritionists think they’re healthy, compared to 71 percent of the public. Pretty big perception gap.

Continued on the next page…