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那些令公众和专家产生分歧的“健康”食物

更新时间:2016-7-7 10:44:06 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Is Sushi ‘Healthy’? What About Granola? Where Americans and Nutritionists Disagree
那些令公众和专家产生分歧的“健康”食物

We surveyed Americans and a panel of nutrition experts about which foods they thought were good or bad for you.

我们针对美国人和一组营养专家进行问卷调查,询问他们觉得哪些食物对身体好,哪些不好。

Is popcorn good for you? What about pizza, orange juice or sushi? Or frozen yogurt, pork chops or quinoa?

爆米花对身体好吗?披萨、橙汁或者寿司呢?冷冻酸奶、连骨猪排或藜麦怎么样?

Which foods are healthy? In principle, it’s a simple enough question, and a person who wishes to eat more healthily should reasonably expect to know which foods to choose at the supermarket and which to avoid.

哪些食物是健康的?原则上讲,这是个很简单的问题,希望吃得更健康的人应该会知道该在超市选什么食物,避开什么。

Unfortunately, the answer is anything but simple.

可惜答案绝没那么简单。

The Food and Drug Administration recently agreed to review its standards for what foods can be called “healthy,” a move that highlights how much of our nutritional knowledge has changed in recent years – and how much remains unknown.

美国食品与药品管理局(The Food and Drug Administration)最近同意重新审视它有关何为“健康”食物的标准,这一举措凸显出我们的营养知识在最近几年发生了多大的变化——以及还有多少是未知的。

With the Morning Consult, a media and polling firm, we surveyed hundreds of nutritionists – members of the American Society for Nutrition – asking them whether they thought certain food items (about 50) were healthy.

我们和媒体与民调公司晨间顾问(Morning Consult)一起对数百名营养学家——美国营养学会(American Society for Nutrition)的成员——做问卷调查,询问他们是否认为某种食物(约50种)是健康的。

The Morning Consult also surveyed a representative sample of the American electorate, asking the same thing.

晨间顾问也在美国选民中选取有代表性的人群做问卷调查,向他们征询了同样的问题。

The results suggest a surprising diversity of opinion, even among experts. Yes, some foods, like kale, apples and oatmeal, are considered “healthy” by nearly everyone. And some, like soda, french fries and chocolate chip cookies, are not. But in between, some foods appear to benefit from a positive public perception, while others befuddle the public and experts alike. (We’re looking at you, butter.)

结果显示意见非常多样,令人意外,即便在专家群体内也是如此。没错,几乎所有人都认为羽衣甘蓝、苹果和燕麦等一些食物是“健康的”;汽水、炸薯条和巧克力曲奇则不是。但在介于二者之间的区域,一些食物似乎得益于正面的公众观念,而其他的则让公众和专家都感到困惑。(说的就是你,黄油。)

“Twenty years ago, I think we knew about 10 percent of what we need to know” about nutrition, said Dariush Mozaffarian, the dean of the Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy. “And now we know about 40 or 50 percent.”

有关营养,“20年前,我认为我们知道大约10%我们需要知道的东西,”塔夫茨大学弗里德曼营养科学与政策学院(Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University)院长达柳什·莫扎法里安(Dariush Mozaffarian)说。“现在我们知道40%或50%。”

Here’s what we found.

以下是我们的发现。

Of the 52 common foods that we asked experts and the public to rate, none had a wider gap than granola bars. More than 70 percent of ordinary Americans we surveyed described it as healthy, but less than a third of nutritional experts did. A similar gap existed for granola, which less than half of nutritionists we surveyed described as healthy.

在我们请求专家和公众评分的52种常见食物中,没有什么比燕麦棒获得的评价差异更大。在参与调查的普通美国人中,有超过70%认为它是健康的,但只有不到三分之一的营养专家也这么想。对麦片的看法同样存在这种巨大的差异,少于一半的受调查营养学家认为它是健康的。

Several of the foods considered more healthful by everyday Americans than by experts, including frozen yogurt, a SlimFast shake andgranola bars, have something in common: They can contain a lot of added sugar. In May, the Food and Drug Administration announced a new template for nutrition labels, and one priority was to clearly distinguish between sugars that naturally occur in food and sugars that are added later to heighten flavors. (You’d be surprised how many foods contain added sugar.) It’s possible nutritionists know this, but the public still does not.

相比于专家,普通美国人认为更健康的几种食物——冻酸奶、速瘦(SlimFast)奶昔、燕麦棒等——有一些共同特征:他们包含很多额外的糖分。今年5月,美国食品与药品管理局宣布了营养标示的新样板,其中一项优先项是明确区分食物中自然产生的糖分和后来为了加强口味而加入的糖分。(你会惊讶于有那么多食物包含额外的糖。)有可能营养学家明白这一点,而公众还不知道。

On the other end of the spectrum, several foods received a seal of approval from our expert panel but left nonexperts uncertain. Most surprising to us was the reaction to quinoa, a “superfood” grain so often praised as healthful that it has become the subject of satire. (At the moment, The New York Times cooking site offers 167 recipes for quinoa, roughly a third of which are explicitly tagged “healthy.”)

另一方面,有好几种食物获得了专家群体的认可,但非专家群体却感觉未必。对我们来说最让人吃惊的是对藜麦的反应,这种“超级食品”谷物如此频繁地被赞扬为有益健康的,以致它变成了讽刺的对象。(此刻,《纽约时报》美食频道上提供了167种藜麦食谱,大约有三分之一都被明确标注为“健康”。)

In addition, tofu, sushi, hummus, wine and shrimp were all rated as significantly more healthful by nutritionists than by the public. Why?

除此以外,营养专家给予豆腐、寿司、鹰嘴豆泥、红酒、虾的健康评分也比公众的打分高出许多。为什么呢?

One reason may be that many of them are new foods in the mainstream American diet. Our colleague Neil Irwin measured mentions of trendy foods in Times coverage over the years, and found that quinoa had only recently picked up steam. Others may reflect mixed messages in press coverage of the healthfulness of foods. Shrimp was long maligned for its high rate of dietary cholesterol, though recent guidelines have changed. And public messages about the healthfulness of alcohol are conflicting: While moderate drinking appears to have some health benefits, more consumption can obviously have real health costs.

其中一个原因可能是它们中有许多是美国主流饮食中的新出现的食物。我们的同事尼尔·欧文(Neil Irwin)统计了《纽约时报》过去多年报道中提到流行食物的情况,发现藜麦的流行度是最近才开始上升。其他的可能反映了媒体在报道食品健康程度时传达的信息有些含混。因为膳食胆固醇含量高,虾长久以来一直被错误地看待,不过最近的饮食指南已经发生了变化。有关酒的健康程度的公众信息相互矛盾:尽管适度饮酒似乎在一定程度上有益健康,但更多的饮用显然会让人付出实实在在的健康代价。

We weren’t surprised to find areas in which both ordinary Americans and experts disagreed.

不出所料的是,我们发现在有些领域,普通美国人和专家的意见并不一致。

We expect researchers to be better informed about current research, and everyday consumers to be more susceptible to the health claims of food marketers, even if the claims are somewhat dubious.

我们预料研究人员对目前的研究状况会有更多了解,认为普通消费者更容易受到食品卖家健康说法的影响,哪怕那些说法有点可疑。

But some of the foods in our survey split both the public and our panel of experts.

但我们调查的一些食物令公众和专家群体内部都产生了分歧。

Four of the foods listed above – steak, cheddar cheese, whole milkand pork chops – tend to have a lot of fat. And fat is a topic few experts can agree on. Years ago, the nutritional consensus was that fat, and particularly the saturated fat found in dairy and red meat, was bad for your heart. Newer studies are less clear, and many of the fights among nutritionists tend to be about the right amount of protein and fat in a healthy diet.

调查表中列出的食物有四种——牛排、切达干酪、全脂奶和连骨猪排——似乎脂肪含量比较多。脂肪是一个很少能有专家意见一致的话题。多年前的营养共识是脂肪对心脏不好,尤其是奶制品和肉类中的饱和脂肪。更新一些的研究结论没那么清晰,营养学家之间的争执点似乎在于健康饮食中蛋白质和脂肪的正确含量上。

The uncertainty about these foods, as expressed both by experts and ordinary Americans, reflects the haziness of the nutritional evidence about them. (If you’re a steak lover and you find this news discouraging, our colleague Aaron Carroll has written that red meat is probably fine in moderation.)

专家和普通美国人在这些食物问题上表现出的不确定性,反映出有关它们的营养学证据的模糊。(如果你是个牛排爱好者,你觉得这条消息令人沮丧,那我就告诉你,我们的同事阿伦·卡罗尔[Aaron Carroll]写过,适度食用红肉或许没有问题。)

It’s clear that many shoppers do want to eat healthful foods but are unsure what to choose. To gain some perspective on this, we asked Google which foods were most commonly part of a simple search: “Is [blank] healthy?” We used these results to generate some of our survey questions. The food people were likeliest to ask about was also one nutritionists generally approve of: sushi.

显然很多顾客的确想吃健康的食物,但他们不确定该选什么。为了在这方面获得一些认知,我求助于谷歌(Google),问该公司以下的简单搜索中最常见的部分是什么:“[空格]是健康的吗?”我们用这些搜索结果设计了问卷中的一些问题。这些关心饮食的人最有可能问到的,也是营养学家普遍认可的一种食物,那就是寿司。

There are some areas of nutritional consensus. Nearly everyone agreed that oranges, apples, oatmeal and chicken could safely be described as healthy, and also agreed that chocolate chip cookies,bacon, white bread and soda could not.

有些领域存在营养方面的共识。几乎所有人都同意,橙子、苹果、燕麦和鸡肉可以比较安全地被列为健康食品,也同意巧克力曲奇、培根、白面包和汽水则不是。

Where does this leave a well-meaning but occasionally confused shopper? Reassured, perhaps: Nutrition science is sometimes murky even to experts.

对一个动机良好但偶尔会感到困惑的消费者来说,这会带来什么影响?或许是安心:营养学有时甚至对专家来说都是含糊不清的。

Your overall diet probably matters a lot more than whether you follow rigid rules or eat just one “good” or “bad” food. Our colleague Aaron Carroll has published a list of common-sense rules for healthful eating, which represents a good start.

相比于你是否严格遵守饮食法则,或是否吃一种“好的”或“不好的”食物,你的整体饮食可能要重要得多。我的同事阿伦·卡罗尔列过一系列常识性的健康饮食法则,这代表一个不错的开始。

We also asked our experts whether they considered their own diet healthful, and how they described it. Ninety-nine percent of nutritionists said their diet was very or somewhat healthy. The most popular special diet type was “Mediteranean”; 25 percent of our nutritionists picked it. But the most common answer, even for experts, was “no special rules or restrictions.”

我们也询问了专家,他们是否认为自己的饮食是健康的,以及他们会如何描述。99%的营养学家表示,自己的饮食非常或比较健康。最受欢迎的特殊饮食类型是“地中海式”;我们调查的营养学家有25%选了这种。但最常见的答案,哪怕对专家来说,也是“没有特别的规则或限制。”

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