Arla: four in five don't know about nutrients

6 Feb 2019

The demand to live a healthier lifestyle is increasing, yet four in five people across Northern Europe do not know about the essential nutrients they have in their diet, according to new research from Arla Foods.

Arla: four in five don't know about nutrients

The demand to live a healthier lifestyle is increasing, yet four in five people across Northern Europe do not know about the essential nutrients they have in their diet, according to new research from Arla Foods that has uncovered a big knowledge gap when it comes to our understanding about food, with 40% also admitting they feel lacking in some of the essentials. Concerningly, Arla says, almost half of people don’t recognise dairy products as a natural source of vitamins and minerals.

The insights of more than 7,000 people across Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Finland and the UK also reveals that a quarter of people skip a meal, even though they are hungry.

37% of this group cite saving time as the most common reason, yet 60% of people questioned do not recognise that many dairy products are a single natural source of vitamins and minerals. Including calcium, protein, B vitamins, this makes it away of consuming key nutrients.

The findings highlight that despite more people wanting to lead a healthier life (51% state they see themselves as a healthy eater) there is still uncertainty when it comes to knowing exactly what we should consume. A better understanding of what is in the food we eat will make it easier to buy and shop for a healthy and balanced diet for people of all ages.

Hanne Søndergaard, CMO at Arla Foods, comments on the findings:

“It’s clear from the research that there is still a lot to educate consumers on when it comes to nutrition. The demand to live healthier lives is constantly increasing yet we can only do this when we truly understand our food and the impact that food has on our body. Food literacy needs to be improved so people can compose meals which are rich and varied in essential nutrients. Establishing good food habits is the foundation of what we at Arla stand for to help people across the world live a healthy life."

“Consumers are constantly demanding new experiences from their food and new trends are emerging all the time. Our vision is firmly rooted in bringing the nutritional benefits of milk** into exciting concepts that meet these demands and ultimately help them understand how dairy can be part of a balanced and healthy lifestyle.”

When it comes to how the countries stack up, two in three Brits wrongly think there is more than 10% fat in whole milk, when actually it only contains under 4%,with semi-skimmed even lower at around 1.7%.In Finland, more than a third believe the fat content in milk to be more than 10%.

Food confusion is prevalent across European countries, with three quarters of people in Sweden not recognising dairy products as a source of protein. In Denmark one in three people cut a specific food from their diet. For Germans, a quarter only eat one main meal a day, highlighting why almost half of the nation might feel they may be lacking in key vitamins and nutrients.

A common theme across Northern Europeans is the desire to reduce the amount of sugar. A third of people across Denmark, Sweden, Finland, UK and Germany admit to cutting out a specific food, with 40% of those saying they aim to omit sugar from what they eat. As a responsible food producer, Arla recognises its role in helping people live a healthier life, through our nutrition criteria. These are the guiding principles that support Arla branded products, to make sure that the good stuff in milk is retained whilst limiting the amount of added sugar, fat and salt.

“As one of the world's leading dairy companies, we can develop improved products and new initiatives that can inspire better health in everyday life. This means that we have both a responsibility and opportunity to make a difference to global diet-related health challenges,” concludes Søndergaard.