EXTENSION CONNECTION: Learn about nutrition and functional foods

Published: Monday, November 4, 2013 at 11:23 AM.

From beans to blueberry yogurt and breakfast cereals, many foods contain health-promoting nutrients and components. Functional foods provide benefits beyond basic nutrition.

For more on functional foods, see foodinsight.org>>

and the UF Food, Family, Youth  and Commmunity Services site>>

But how much of the “beyond basic nutrition” do we understand? The International Food Information Council's most recent Functional Foods Consumer Survey was designed to answer this question.

Surveyed participants believe they have general nutrition knowledge; most consumers feel relatively confident they do. Those younger than 49 years old consider themselves extremely knowledgeable about nutrition.

Despite such confidence in nutrition knowledge, most survey respondents believe they fall short of meeting "all or nearly all" of their nutrient needs.

For some nutrients, consumers perceive their intakes are adequate when, actually, they are not. For nutrients such as vitamin D, potassium and fiber, the discrepancy between perception and reality is stark. But for nutrients such as vitamin C and calcium, consumers’ perceptions are on target.

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