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Herbalife nutrition survey underscores need to close nutrition knowledge gap

At least 81 percent of Filipino consumers failed to get half of the correct answers in a general nutrition knowledge quiz conducted by premiere global nutrition company Herbalife Nutrition.

The country's score – only 19 percent of respondents were able to get at least half of the correct answers – was lower than the Asia Pacific average of 23 percent.

The quiz was administered as part of Herbalife Nutrition’s Asia Pacific Nutrition Myths Survey 2020, which was conducted in March with 5,500 respondents from Australia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

To test the nutrition knowledge of the survey participants, the quiz included a total of 48 “True or False” questions spanning nine nutrition areas – general nutrition, protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, caffeine, weight management and breakfast.

“The results of the quiz and the survey show that there is a significant nutrition knowledge gap among Filipinos. We hope to help close the gap to empower them with the nutrition knowledge they need to make better nutrition choices,” said Sridhar Rajagopalan, Senior Director and General Manager of Herbalife Nutrition Philippines.

Only seven percent among those surveyed said that they were extremely confident about their nutrition knowledge, while 54 percent claimed that they were only somewhat well-informed.

Filipino consumers, however, expressed that they believe in the importance of a balanced nutrition, which was among the top three nutrition advice that they were most interested in, along with how to improve ailment/condition through nutrition and managing weight through nutrition.

“This is a good sign, so the next step is helping them achieve this,” Rajagopalan said.

Majority of the Filipino respondents (85 percent) falsely believed that one needs sufficient calcium intake at any age to optimize peak bone mass for bone health.

“Our bone mass (maximum bone size and strength) is dependent on calcium intake and reaches its peak by age 30. However, sufficient calcium intake throughout life can reduce the risk of osteoporosis,” Rajagopalan said.

When it comes to fats, 68 percent got it right that fats provide the body with energy but only 42 percent correctly believed that it helps the body absorb vitamins.

At least 80 percent correctly said that exercise helps the body rebuild muscles and increase lean muscles, but 51 percent falsely believe that protein powder is not a healthy source of protein as compared to protein found in natural foods.

“Protein powder can be as good as protein from natural foods if derived from high-quality sources. For instance, soy protein from soybeans is a complete protein, providing a full range of nine essential amino acids for the body’s nutrition requirements,” Rajagopalan said.

An overwhelming majority (94 percent) of Filipino consumers were right in their belief that fruits and Vitamin C supplements can help boost immunity and resistance to infection. Among the Asia Pacific respondents, they were the highest in this belief.

While 47 percent of Filipino consumers believed that it is extremely important to be educated with proper and accurate nutrition knowledge, they also said that too much misinformation and myths online prevent them from gaining accurate nutrition knowledge.

The other top barriers were lack of information from government websites and health authorities (22 percent) and the lack of information from healthcare professionals (17 percent).

Topics: Herbalife Nutrition , Asia Pacific Nutrition Myths Survey 2020 , Sridhar Rajagopalan , general nutrition knowledge quiz , natural food
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