Archives for July 7, 2016

Healthy Food Rankings Map: The Most Under-Appreciated vs. Over-Marketed Foods


The NY Times surveyed Americans and a panel of nutrition experts about which foods they thought were good or bad for you. Everybody agreed that apples and carrots are healthy food. Everybody agreed that soda pop and cookies are unhealthy foods. Where the experts and the generic public disagreed is where things got interesting. Check out the graphic below, in which I have altered the original a bit (click to enlarge):

foodmarketing2

Although the NYT did not say this, I would label the foods that were considered healthier by the general public than nutritional experts as heavily-marketed and usually branded. These are foods that businesses would like you to think are much healthier than they really are. This would include granola bars, coconut oil, frozen yogurt, SlimFast shakes, and highly-processed orange juice. You often associate them with a specific brand like Nature Valley granola bars or Tropicana orange juice.

Along the same lines, I the foods that were considered healthier by nutritional experts than the general public are under-marketed and under-appreciated. These include quinoa, tofu, sushi, hummus, and shrimp. Not surprisingly, these items are less processed and I can’t even come up with a brand for quinoa or tofu. Sabra for hummus, I suppose.

Finally, hovering in the 50% range for both groups are things like steak, pork chops, whole milk, and cheddar cheese. These seem to be the “not junk food, but only eat in moderation” category.