Facebook Pixel

'Functional Foods' Popular in U.S., Report Says

Rate This

Americans are hungry for so-called functional foods, products that are enhanced with nutrients and perceived as offering health benefits.

A report released Thursday by the research firm Pricewaterhouse Coopers found that even in the current weak economy, consumers are willing to pay more for functional foods, also called nutraceuticals, the Associated Press reported.

These foods range from heart-friendly margarines and calcium-spiked juices to ice cream with probiotics.

Critics aren't impressed. These foods are "calorie distractors," said Marion Nestle, a food scientist at New York University.

"Functional foods are about marketing, not health," she told the AP. "They delude people into thinking that these things are healthy," and they often eat more than they should.

Add a Comment1 Comments

I have to agree with some of the critics on this one. What functional foods seem to lack is the awareness of how substances interact with the added supplements in the food. For example, a moderate to high water content in foods that contain probiotics can activate added probiotics before they get to your digestive tract, making them relatively useless when you ingest them. It's tough to know what you're actually getting with many of these functional foods. But you can always count on a higher price tag. Personally, I take things like probiotics and vitamin D3 in a supplement to make sure I'm getting the potency I need.
- Anna M

August 21, 2009 - 7:51am
Add a Comment

Healthy Eating

Get Email Updates

Health Newsletter

Receive the latest and greatest in women's health and wellness from EmpowHER - for free!