Self-perceived nutrition knowledge vs. actual nutrition knowledge and willingness to participate in fad diets.
With the rising obesity epidemic in America, there has also been a dramatic increase in the marketing of “fad diets” for weight loss. However, many of these diets are based on false claims and pseudoscience and can in reality be harmful to one’s long-term physical and mental health. Students were asked to rank their confidence in their level of nutrition knowledge from 1-5, and then complete a basic 20-question nutrition test. Of those most confident in nutrition (ranked themselves at 5), 53.8% had participated in fad diets, and the average score on the quiz was 14.3/20. The results show that more confidence in nutrition knowledge correlates with more willingness to participate in fad diets. However, we found that those more confident in that knowledge did not perform well on the basic nutrition test, with their average score being 71.5%.