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What Your Neighbor Thinks About Your Lunch (and Why You Should Care)
These nuggets are from a compelling series of infographics from the makers of a food-tracking iPhone app called The Eatery (see them all here, and learn more about the app at www.massivehealth.com). There are lots of interesting facts about what, when, where and how we eat, compiled using crowd-sourced data that included 7.68 million food ratings by Eatery users from over 50 countries, but what we found most interesting had to do with perception. Not only do we think we eat better than others think we do, but we tend to have some interesting ideas about good and bad foods: half of the Eatery users considered coffee to be "unhealthy" (they must not have had a chance to read the latest pro-joe research) and 1 in 5 think diet soda is "healthy" (it has fewer calories that regular soda, but since when is artificial sweetener "healthy"?!).
We came across these infographics after reading an article by health reporter Tara Parker Pope in last weekend's New York Times Magazine about "fat denial." Pope writes than many overweight and obese people tend to underestimate how much they weigh: in one experiment, only 10 percent of obese people accurately described their body size. (Maybe some are thinking, "How can I be obese? I'm such a healthy eater!")
So what can we do about these distorted perceptions? The Eatery data gives one helpful idea: those with a specific type of diet (vegetarian, pescatarian, complex carbs, low-fat--whatever) tended to eat at least 15.2 percent healthier than those who were game to eat anything. Their theory is that simply thinking about what you eat and evaluating it according to health and nutrition rules leads you to make better choices. It seems laughably obvious--but then again, so does the idea that hamburgers aren't the best choice for lunch. Even better: Get a health-conscious friend to weigh in on your lunch order.
Not losing weight? 3 possible explanations
Does your ideal weight need to go on a diet?
As a reminder, always consult your doctor for medical advice and treatment before starting any program.