71% believe short-term diets are bad for your health.

Only 4% trust supermarkets and major producers to offer balanced, nutritious food.

The Devilled Egg Kitchen Academy opens the new year by announcing the results of a year-long study into the way we think about nutrition, the findings of which have strengthened the cookery school’s commitment to nutritional awareness and healthy cooking during 2015.

Throughout 2014 The Devilled Egg surveyed its customers anonymously about their habits, knowledge and attitudes concerning dietary health. The results, detailed below, point to a general dissatisfaction with the quality of nutrition in our daily lives, along with a lack of faith in the food industry to act responsibly when it comes to public health.

After scoring their regular eating habits by nutritional intake, respondents were asked whether these habits were primarily the result of convenience and product availability, or of informed personal choices. Of those with a low nutrition score, 75% blamed convenience for their bad habits. Conversely, just 19% of those with a high nutrition score attributed this to convenience, with 81% giving informed personal choices as the reason for their healthier diet. This points to the strong association between bad diet and the most conveniently available food products, at least in popular perception.

Just 4% of those polled believed that supermarkets and major food producers can be trusted to provide nutritious and healthy products. 69% said they could not be trusted, with 27% undecided. When the same question was applied to restaurants, only 21% said they trust restaurants on this issue, compared with 63% who do not. Trust for fast food outlets was at 0%.

71% said they believe short-term weight loss diets are detrimental to long-term health, although 50% said they were likely to try one anyway in the next 12 months. This reveals a gap between what the public wants and what they feel is readily available to them. 71% said that raising public awareness and knowledge of nutrition is an important issue, with a further 21% describing it is as urgent. Only 8% were undecided or opposed to this.

Barbora Stiess, Director at The Devilled Egg Kitchen Academy, says: “We already know the market is overrun with cheap convenience foods which appeal to our impulsive side but can have disastrous effects on our long-term health. Personal choice should not be ignored as a factor, but this survey shows that the public is well aware of the problem and wants the food industry to take some responsibility and help find a solution. We at The Devilled Egg are very proud to be a small part of that.”

The Road Ahead

The Devilled Egg Kitchen Academy has long been an advocate of nutritional and environmental responsibility in food and cooking. This survey is just one indicator among many that the British public is far ahead of the food industry on these issues, and the company aims to take action throughout 2015 to fuel this debate.

As part of its survey The Devilled Egg also asked customers to rate their potential interest in classes aimed specifically at nutrition and eating healthily in the long-term, and found 75% in favour of such an exercise. With this in mind the company is bringing an accredited nutritionist on board in 2015, offering customers advanced and expert insight into our complex and crucial relationship with food. This will complement the school’s existing body of knowledge in designing and preparing menus which are highly enjoyable, beneficial and achievable. Many of The Devilled Egg’s producers will be joining this effort by hosting tutorials and demonstrations to showcase their produce and how to get the most out of it, in terms of both flavour and nourishment.

The company also has a number of collaborations lined up with health-based charities in the UK and will be releasing a series of recipes recommended to avoid or alleviate common medical conditions. In addition to their regular programme of classes and bespoke sessions, an expanded range of specialised cookery classes tailored to allergies, dietary requirements and even lifestyle preferences will be on offer. These include introductory and advanced classes in vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free and raw food.