Consumers underestimate risks of unhealthy diet

For this year’s World Health Assembly in Geneva Consumers International (CI) presented its poll results regarding public awareness of the impacts of unhealthy diets. 

The survey with 2,988 observations from six countries showed:

  • Underestimating its global risks only 18% of respondents correctly identified that unhealthy diets contribute to more deaths than war, tobacco and alcohol consumption, HIV or malaria.
  • 71% consider a healthy diet as very important for their families and themselves.
  • There is a strong support for the reduction of high levels of fat, sugar and salt in everyday foods (61%) and
  • enhanced consumer information (67%).

Given these insights CI has been campaigning for a “Global Convention to Protect and Promote Healthy Diets”. Among other measures this policy framework would include restrictions on marketing of unhealthy food to children, better nutrition labeling and fiscal measures to support consumption of healthy food. 

Amanda Long, Director-General of CI, notices: “Our survey suggests that few people understand the scale of the health crisis we are facing.”

Further Information and survey data