In the survey of 2,000 consumers in the UK, US, Spain and Australia, 79% said they found messages around health, food and nutrition ‘confusing’.
Because of changing dietary advice, more and more people were uncertain about which foods were healthy or unhealthy, the survey by New Nutrition Business claimed.
The foods that UK consumers were most confused about were dairy, eggs and butter, it revealed.
Another contributing factor to the confusion was loss of trust in official dietary guidelines.
The majority rely on online sources
When deciding what was healthy, the majority of UK consumers (34%) relied on online sources such as blogs rather than dietitians or nutritionists.
Furthermore, only 14% of those surveyed would ask a dietitian for advice – just a few more people than the group (11%) who would watch a documentary.
Meanwhile, research conducted for Ingredion found that just 13% of consumers surveyed across Europe, the Middle East and Africa believed the information currently made available on food and drink ingredients was adequate.
This suggested there was scope for manufacturers to boost transparency and consumer confidence in their brands by improving the quality of information online and/or on-pack, Ingredion claimed.
Please click here to sign-up for our free monthly Food Ingredients, Health & Nutrition (FIHN) newsletter.