If you asked me about my diet, I'd tell you I am very healthy.
I cook 70 percent of my meals and avoid processed foods. My co-workers can back up the fact that I bring my lunch every day -- even on pizza day. Of course, like anyone else, I indulge. I'm completely obsessed with Shake Shack, peanut M&Ms and cookies. So no, I don't go overboard, but I think of myself as healthier than the average 20-something.
I could be wrong, though.
According to the findings from a new poll from NPR and Truven Health Analytics, people often think they are healthier than they really are.
This survey included 3,000 adults in the US who were asked, "How healthy would you consider your eating habits to be?"
As you might guess, 75 percent of those in the poll self-reported that their diets were pretty good, very good or excellent.
This is a bit weird, considering the increasing percentage of adult obesity in the US. So where's the disconnect? Well, you can't help but wonder whether or not Americans actually know what a healthy diet entails. Or maybe people are straight up lying or living in denial.
Eating a salad once a week but then munching on fries and grilled cheese sandwiches the rest of the time isn't considered healthy. Nor is saying you only eat salads when that's true, but you're eating GIGANTIC salads with heaps of dressing.
It's not about what you're eating, but how you're eating it. According to experts like Marion Nestle at New York University and David Just at Cornell University, health factors include portion size and focusing on limiting calorie intake instead of eating legitimately "healthy" foods.
According to Nestle, marketing and education are also to blame. People are often tricked by labels of foods that try to disguise themselves as healthy. For example, some sugary cereals can boast the fact that they're now "whole grain" or gluten-free but that doesn't mean they should be considered healthy.
Just eat more fruits and veggies, people. Lay off the refined sugars and processed foods, trust me, you'll be happier.
What about you? Be honest with yourself. How healthy do you really eat?