2014 Food and Health Survey


The 2014 Food & Health Survey: Consumer Attitudes toward Food Safety, Nutrition & Health, commissioned by the International Food Information Council Foundation, is the ninth annual national quantitative study designed to gain insights from Americans on important food safety, nutrition and health-related topics.

The research provides the opportunity to better understand how Americans view their own diets, their efforts to improve them, how they balance diet and exercise, their knowledge of food ingredients and components, their beliefs when it comes to food safety, and their behaviors across all of these fronts.












Fast Facts

While taste and price consistently have been the top two facors that impact consumers’ food and beverage purchases (90 percent and 73 percent respectively), healthfulness in 2014 almost entirely closed the gap with price, rising from 61 percent of consumers in 2012 to 71 percent this year, a 10 percentage-point increase.

Consumers aged 18-34, who cite healthfulness as a driver of food and beverage purchases, increased from 55 percent in 2013 to 66 percent in 2014, significantly narrowing the gap with other age groups.

Topping the list of what respondents believe to be the most effective weight-management strategy is tracking and increasing the amount of time of physical activity at 27 percent, followed closely by eating smaller portions at 26 percent, and eating smaller and more frequent meals or snacks at 23 percent.

  • Only 23 percent of respondents report having had an “emotional conversation” about food in the past six months. Half of respondents (50 percent) report having conversations about food that are not emotional.
  • This year, 66 percent of consumers are at least somewhat confident in the food supply, while 30 percent are not too confident or not at all confident. In 2012, the former figure stood at 78 percent, while the latter stood at 18 percent.
  • Americans are most likely to trust that health professionals will provide accurate information about weight loss, physical activity, and nutrition.On the other hand, Americans trust the U.S. government the most when it comes to food safety, food ingredients, and the way foods are produced and farmed.
  • “Expiration date” is the most used information on food labels, with 66 percent of consumers saying the look for it. The percentage of consumers who check the Nutrition Facts Panel was relatively unchanged this year at 65 percent
  • About half of all consumers (51 percent) use nutrition information such as calorie counts when eating out at restaurants, while 23 percent have noticed such information but don’t pay attention to it, and 26 percent haven’t noticed such information at all.
  • Half of consumers (51 percent) report that they are getting “pretty close to” or less than what they believe is the appropriate amount of sugars in their diets.
  • More than a third of consumers report regularly buying food that is labeled as “natural” (37 percent) or “local” (35 percent), with 32 percent who regularly buy products advertised as “organic.”
On location in Washington, D.C., IFIC asked real people about healthfulness as a factor in their food and beverage purchasing decisions, trusted sources for food and nutriiton information, and their conversations about food.

Media Webcast Speaker Bios

Matt Raymond, Senior Director, Communications

Matt Raymond, a veteran communicator for more than 20 years, joined the International Food Information Council & IFIC Foundation in March 2013 as senior director of communications. Raymond began his career as an on-air, small-market TV reporter. After moving in 1995 to Washington, D.C., he worked on Capitol Hill for eight years as a communications director for two senators and chief of staff for a U.S. congressman.

A graduate with distinction from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism in Evanston, Ill., he was named the outstanding broadcast journalism student for his graduating class.

Marianne Smith Edge, MS, RD, LD, FADA

Senior Vice President, Nutrition and Food Safety

Marianne Smith Edge, MS, RD, LD, FADA is the Senior Vice President for Nutrition & Food Safety for the International Food Information Council Foundation. Marianne has over twenty five years of experience in the healthcare and nutrition communications and marketing field.

She is a past president of the American Dietetic Association and a member of the Institute of Food Technologists. Marianne currently serves on the USDA National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and Economics Advisory Board, the advisory board to the USDA Secretary of Agriculture.

Marianne received her B.S. in Dietetics from the University of Kentucky and a MS in Public Health-Nutrition from Western Kentucky University.


A webcast for nutrition, health, and wellness professionals
May 20, 2014, 2:00 pm EDT

Continuing Professional Education (CPE) Credits for Registered Dietitians and Dietetic Technicians Registered

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the variety of influences on consumer purchasing decisions.
  • Recognize barriers preventing consumers from taking more control over their health and opportunities for improvement.
  • Identify areas of misinformation, confusion and lack of understanding related to nutrition and health that exist for consumers.
  • Distinguish ways to improve food and health communications to empower consumers to take control of their diets, physical activity, and weight.

Suggested Learning Codes

  • 4000 Wellness and Public Health
  • 4030 Dietary Guidelines, DRIs, Food Guide Pyramid, Food Labeling
  • 4100 Social Marketing
  • 9000 Research and Grants
  • 6000 Education, Training and Counseling

For all Registered Dietitians and Dietetic Technicians Registered, the LIVE, “IFIC Foundation 2014 Food and Health Survey – The Pulse of America’s Diet: From Beliefs to Behaviors” webinar is approved for 1 CPEs.

Click here to download a copy of the CPE certificate.



Weight Management Strategies Infographic