While increasing overall activity levels would improve health, obesity rates will not decrease without a decrease in caloric intake. Partnerships offer the food industry another important benefit: obfuscation. Canadian and US research efforts have identified excessive energy or calorie intake as the main driver of rising obesity rates. 6.7 For example, studies on double-labeled water, a standard reference measure of total energy expenditure over extended periods, have deduced that overall activity levels have not changed dramatically since the 1980s.8 While increasing levels of general activity would improve health, obesity rates will not decrease without a decrease in caloric intake.
Food has become a high point in American culture and politics. In the past generation, Americans have witnessed the introduction of genetically modified crops, the rise of the organic food industry, the growing concern about obesity, the growing awareness of food allergies and other health problems related to what people eat, the increase in the volume of best-selling books and publications on food, and the proliferation of top-tier chefs as superstars of popular culture. Beyond labeling, it has been argued that transformative changes in the food supply chain are needed to forge greater links between consumers and food producers (1). To explore how best to communicate with the public on this topic, research is first needed to understand consumer perceptions about antimicrobial resistance, OneHealth and the use of antibiotics in agriculture.
A second indicator of people's perspectives on food is their degree of concentration on a healthy and nutritious diet, which also has far-reaching implications for the way they view the world of food, their food purchases and their dietary practices. To the extent that these groups differ in their views, those who focus on eating healthy and nutritious foods tend to be a little more convinced that scientists understand very well the health effects of GM foods, that they are very confident that scientists will provide complete and accurate information about GM foods, and that scientific research findings are based on the best available evidence most of the time. A smaller proportion of Americans say that food industry leaders (42%) or elected officials (24%) should play an important role in political decisions about GM foods. At the same time, there is a sizeable minority (39%) of Americans who consider that genetically modified foods are worse for a person's health than other foods.
Only 21% of people deeply concerned about the issue of GM foods trust that food industry leaders, at least some, provide complete and accurate information on the effects of GM foods, and 79% don't trust information from food industry leaders (39%) or at all (40%). Food allergies influence people's dietary philosophy; about 26% of people who focus on eating healthy and nutritious foods have at least mild food allergies. Adults who care deeply about the issue of transgenic foods (16%) are much more likely than those who are least concerned about this issue to consider that GM foods are worse for their health (75% vs. Three-quarters of these Americans (75%) are convinced that organic foods are healthier than conventionally grown foods.
People who are deeply concerned about the issue of transgenic foods stand out for their concern for the health of these foods and the impact that transgenic crops have on public health and the environment, as well as on their general practices of buying and feeding food. These cases highlight the need to adopt measures to prevent food contamination closer to its point of production, especially if food is consumed raw or is difficult to wash (20). Increased knowledge about antimicrobial resistance, information related to human and animal health and animal welfare in labeling could indicate that the public is increasingly interested and aware of the possible impact of transfer through the food chain and wants greater safety in food production. One is the degree of concern that people have about the issue of GM foods and another is the degree to which people focus on eating healthy and nutritious foods.
However, this group of Americans concerned about the issue stands out for their greater skepticism about the fact that research findings on transgenic foods are influenced by the desire of researchers to help the industries they work with or for which they work and by their lower trust in information from leaders of the food industry to provide complete and accurate information on the effects of transgenic foods. This view is more common among people with a deep concern about the issue of transgenic foods (49% say that guests should always do so), compared to 32% among people who are not very concerned about the issue of transgenic foods. Their opinions about scientists and the results of scientific research tend to coincide with those of other people, but people with deep concern about the issue of transgenic foods are particularly skeptical of information from leaders of the food industry about the health effects of transgenic foods and see that the industry has more influence on scientific research results than other Americans. .