In a survey conducted by online grocer FreshDirect of more than 200 attendees at the Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo in Houston earlier this month, 57 percent of respondents said that the occasional indulgent meal is the key to their own nutritional success.
While a majority said they would acquire a taste for healthy foods, 65 percent admitted that they cook or season vegetables to make them more palatable.
“These findings show that these dietitians, first and foremost, value quality of life,” noted Amy Marlow, nutrition advisor for New York-based Happy Family Brands and a participant at the conference. “Dietitians know that feeling good and staying healthy means keeping nutrient-rich foods at the center of their diets, but it does not mean they deprive themselves of delicious-tasting foods.”
The survey additionally found that 75 percent of dietitians have weight-loss counseling experience, but 84 percent conceded that their own bodies could use some work. Further, 56 percent of those surveyed acknowledged that they recommended foods to clients that they don’t eat themselves.
“The idea of the survey was to understand to what degree dietitians practice what they preach, and to test the commonly held view that dietitians have perfect food habits, perfect weight and never indulge,” explained John Leeman, chief marketing officer of FreshDirect, which is in the process of moving to a new facility in the New York City borough of the Bronx. “What we found is that dietitians are human. Like many of us, they want nutritious, healthy foods, but they also want to enjoy the taste of it. That’s why [FreshDirect puts] an emphasis on quality, which can satisfy both needs.” As an example, Leeman cited the e-grocer’s low-calorie, convenient Smart and Simple 4-Minute Meals.
Lifestyles are also a major indicator of how dietitians maintain their habits. Eighty percent of survey respondents said that they enjoy trying new desserts and ordering cocktails when out with friends, while 71 percent noted that inconvenience and lack of exciting selections prevent them from achieving their ideal eating habits on a weekly basis. Only 30 percent contended that there’s no excuse for sacrificing healthful eating.
The Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo, an event of the Chicago-based Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the world’s largest annual meeting of food and nutrition professionals, served as the stage for the debut of the FreshDirect Nutritional Advisory Board, a panel of nutritionists who will consult with the company on dietary trends and be a part of its continuing product development.
FreshDirect currently delivers to customers in the greater New York-New Jersey-Connecticut metro area and Philadelphia.