Thursday, January 20, 2011

We're cool to health claims on food


Nearly half of Canadians don't believe health claims on food products, according to a new poll released this week.
The nationwide Ipsos Reid survey conducted last week for Global National and Postmedia News found only a slim majority -- 53 per cent -- believe health claims made on food labels. And most of these people only "somewhat agree" (47 per cent) with the statement that they believe the health claims on food labels, compared to only five per cent of Canadians who "strongly believe" that statement.
Overall, 47 per cent say they don't believe health claims made on food labels, including nine per cent who feel strongly about it. Younger Canadians aged 18-34 are the least likely to be skeptics, while those 55 years old are the most likely to distrust label claims.
Among the regions, residents of Quebec are the most likely to believe health claims (59 per cent), followed by Atlantic Canadians (54 per cent) and Ontarians (53 per cent). Western Canadians are the most skeptical, with fewer than half saying they believe health claims (47 per cent in each of the provinces).
It's not all bad news for food industry, however.
Seven in 10 (72 per cent) responded that they believe probiotics -- live microorganisms added to food products -- improve their health, while eight in 10 (79 per cent) believe that the addition of Omega-3 fatty acids to food products makes them healthier.

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