General Article Healthy vs unhealthy food: the challenges of understanding food choices

Topic Selected: Food and Diet

We know a lot about food but little about the food choices that affect the nation's health. Researchers have begun to devise experiments to find out why we choose a chocolate bar over an apple – and whether 'swaps' and 'nudges' are effective.

The solution to the obesity epidemic is simple: eat less, move more. But take a deep breath before you type these four words into a search engine. The results exceed nine million. Of the top four results, two websites argue against the statement and two for it. Below, arguments about eating and exercise rage fast and furious with dozens of assertions backed by equations, flowcharts, promises of slimming success, and lists of the latest superfoods.

'Despite all we know about food, we know remarkably little about the process of food choice,' says Dr Suzanna Forwood, until recently Research Associate at the Behaviour and Health Research Unit (Cambridge University) and now Lecturer in Psychology at Anglia Ruskin Unive

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