Four out of five (80%) consumers do not trust the health advice they are given, according to The Waitrose Food and Drink Report 2015.

The new report said years of conflicting advice from experts has left consumers tired of being told what is healthy. Sixty per cent now set their own health boundaries and 91% put their faith in the old maxim “everything in moderation”.

Sugar is a particular focus of healthy eating, with 36% trying to cut down and sales of white granulated sugar dropping as customers switch to sweetening their food with alternatives such as date nectar and maple syrup.

Claire Gough, head of customer insight at Waitrose, said: “Today, it’s about pulling information together from different sites and trusted peers. People hear what they’re told but they sense-check it with multiple sources and their peer group.”

The report also suggests a change in strategy among healthy eaters, focusing on what they do rather than do not eat. Instead of removing all indulgent ingredients from their food, consumers are adding nutrient-rich products such as vegetables to their dishes.