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Low Fat Food Consumption Survey

Consumers Want Low Fat Foods

Given an average consumption of 34 percent of calories from fat, decreasing intake to 30 percent may not seem a monumental task. However, for many people it is exceedingly difficult. To meet this dietary goal, people need to significantly modify their diets – e.g., choose leaner meats, skin poultry and fish, select low-fat/non-fat dairy products and dressings, and limit fried foods. Of course, consumers’ strong desire for high-fat foods makes this difficult. In fact, diet and obesity experts have found that consumers have difficulty maintaining diets once their fat consumption dips below 30 percent of total calories.

Consumers Adopting Low Fat Foods

Nevertheless, millions of consumers are trying to change their “high-fat” ways. A national survey conducted in 2000 by Booth Research Services for the Calorie Control Council revealed 163 million adult Americans (79 percent of the adult U.S. population) consume low or reduced-fat foods and beverages. Another Council survey shows that two-thirds of adults believe there is a need for food ingredients which can replace the fat in food products. According to Prepared Foods, more than 2,000 new low or reduced-fat products have been introduced since 1997.

Food Industry Producing More Low Fat Foods

The food industry has responded to consumer demand by offering an ever-increasing variety of low-fat eating choices. These rich, creamy reduced-fat foods are the result of various new, and existing, food technologies used to replace some or most of the fat without sacrificing the taste and texture consumers desire. Some of the more traditional examples include: replacing whole milk with skim milk in “ice creams,” using leaner meats in frozen entrees, baking snack foods instead of frying and replacing the fat in some products with water or air.

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