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Your 'Healthy' Diet May Not Be as Healthy as You Think, Study Finds

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When you’re trying to lose weight, any number of factors can weaken your resolve and get in the way of progress. But in many cases, the scale may refuse to budge, even if you’ve been sticking to your plan. Findings from a study show that part of the problem may lie in our dietary perceptions and misperceptions.

Researchers found that people trying to lose weight often overestimated how healthy their diet was, a gap that could sabotage weight-loss efforts. The preliminary research will be presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2022, held in person in Chicago and virtually, November 5 to 7.

“We found that while people generally know that fruits and vegetables are healthy, there may be a disconnect between what researchers and healthcare professionals consider to be a healthy and balanced diet compared with what the public thinks is a healthy and balanced diet,” said study author Jessica Cheng, PhD, a postdoctoral research fellow in epidemiology at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health and in general internal medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, both in Boston, in a press release.

About Half of Adults in the US Try to Lose Weight Each Year

Nearly half of US adults try to lose weight each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (PDF), with a majority attempting to eat more fruits, vegetables, and salads.