Despite consumers making active attempts to eat more healthily, the threat of obesity shows no sign of slowing down, according to a new report.
In the survey, entitled Obesity, Dieting, Exercise And The Future Of Food And Drink - understanding consumer attitudes and behaviours, independent market analyst Datamonitor found that consumers do not underestimate the importance of cutting down on fat, sugar and salt.
But they are unwilling to sacrifice foods associated with taste, pleasure and enjoyment.
This is especially relevant, when eating out-of-home, a time when the desire to eat healthily is most likely to be compromised. "Recent media coverage on the undisclosed high calorie content of certain meals in the foodservice sector could help explain the contradiction between rising obesity levels and attempts to eat healthier," said the report.
Datamonitor interviewed a representative sample of over 5,000 consumers from eight countries in 2006. This included over 500 consumers from France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the UK.
"Ultimately, food choice is determined by sensory attributes such as taste and pleasure, and consumers will not sacrifice these in favour of nutritional goodness," said Datamonitor consumer market analyst Michael Hughes.