Brits suffer from nutrition confusion, says Arla

Ahead of World Milk Day on 1 June, a new YouGov survey on behalf of Arla Foods UK shows there is widespread confusion among UK consumers. One finding suggests two-thirds of all Brits wrongly think there is more than 10% fat in whole milk, which actually contains less than 4%.

The research also finds one in ten respondents obtain nutritional advice from social influencers. These myriad of conflicting opinions have resulted in confusion when it comes to the nation’s approach to healthy eating.

Key research findings highlighting ‘confoodsion’ include:

  • 2 in 3 Brits wrongly think there is more than 10% fat in whole milk, when it actually contains under 4%, with semi-skimmed even lower at 1.5%. Skimmed milk contains less than 0.3% fat
  • 41% of Brits believe that cutting out a specific food group will make them healthier even though nutritional experts around the world advocate a balanced diet
  • Only a fifth of people know how much of their recommended daily allowance (RDA) of nutrients are in each food group
  • Over half of Brits do not think they are getting enough nutrients from their diet with 61% believing they get too few vitamins and minerals, 46% too little Iron, 40% too little fibre and 21% too little calcium
  • Less than half of Brits (44%) know that dairy is a natural source of protein

And this isn’t a generational divide, with consistency of confusion seen across all age groups.

Danny Micklethwaite, senior category director for Milk at Arla Foods UK, said: “What surprised us from the research was just how much confusion there is around nutrients and the health credentials of food. As a nation, we’ve become so distant from food production and have over-complicated basic nutrition. There is a clear need for fewer opinions about food and better education around food production, nutrients and ingredients to help the public achieve their healthier ambitions.”

Micklethwaite continued: “Gone are the days of traditional meals and the same old ingredients. We’re a nation that likes to experiment with food, try out new recipes and fuel our bodies with nutrients to match our lifestyle choices. The risk of this is that getting the right nutritional balance can be difficult. Food companies, the government and the media all need to rethink the way we share nutritional information for all age groups if we are to avoid serious problems with malnutrition in years to come.”

Arla Foods nutritionist Lise Larson said: “Milk is natures original superfood. Without any additives or fortification, it is nutrient rich and a simple way to consume the key nutrients needed for a healthy diet. A little bit of everything in moderation is still the best book to play by. The decades old advice that good nutrition should be mostly plant based still stands, but you need to ensure that you also have smaller quantities of nutrient dense foods if you are to get the recommended nutrient requirements without supplements or fortification.”

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