Americans underestimating canned fish?

A survey commissioned by the Canned Food Alliance (CFA) and released on Tuesday found that nearly 40 percent of Americans believe that canned foods are less nutritious than frozen, and nearly 60 percent believe that canned foods are not as nutritious as fresh foods.

Designed to better understand consumers’ attitudes and perceptions of canned foods, the survey also found that less than half of Americans recognize that canned foods count toward the government's recommended dietary guidelines, even though canned foods can be just as nutritious, and sometimes more nutritious, than fresh and frozen varieties.

“The perception that food packaged in cans is different and less nutritious than fresh and frozen varieties is inaccurate,” said Rich Tavoletti, the CFA’s executive director. “The fact is canned foods deliver affordable, accessible and convenient nutrition, helping American families prepare and enjoy nutritious meals that taste great.”

Just 10 months ago, the U.S. government, for the first time, advised all Americans, including pregnant and breastfeeding women, to eat seafood at least twice a week for heart and brain benefits as part of its 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. (Previously, the twice-a-week recommendation was limited to heart patients.)

Though they may not appreciate the health benefits of canned foods such as tuna and salmon, Americans are still buying canned foods — the survey revealed that 84 percent of Americans eat meals made with canned foods at least a twice a month and 34 percent rely on them at least three times a week. 

For the survey, more than 1,000 American adults were polled over the telephone early last month. Based in Pittsburgh, the CFA represents both steel manufactures and food processors.


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