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Many Americans Say Doing Taxes Is Easier Than Eating Right

Filing your taxes may be a dreaded task. But eating healthy can be an even bigger struggle for many Americans.

According to the results of a new survey of more than 1,000 Americans, almost half of us think its harder to eat right than do our taxes. And genderwise, 55 percent of men say it's harder to figure out what you should be eating than it is to figure out how to do your own taxes. For women, it's slightly lower, at 48 percent. The survey comes from the folks at the International Food Information Council Foundation.

Given the confusion, it may not come as a surprise that more than half (55 percent) of Americans are trying to lose weight. But it seems lots of us are not sure how many much we should be eating. In fact, only one in seven Americans can correctly estimate the number of calories they need — a tricky business, we know.

And the other thing that's making it really tough? Seventy-six percent of those surveyed agreed that it's hard to know what to believe, in terms of nutrition advice, because the messages seem to change so often, as we've reported.

But, it's clear from the survey results that lots of people are trying to puzzle it out. And here's what the survey found about some of the top dieting strategies:

More than 70 percent of respondents says they've made efforts to cut back on fats, added sugars and salt, they're trying to eat more whole grains, and they're trying to cut calories by drinking water, and low -or zero- calorie beverages.

And, on fruit and vegetable consumption, the message to eat more is resonating. Eighty-seven percent say over the past year they've made an effort to eat more. The findings fit with another survey released this week by the Kellogg Foundation, found 68 percent of respondents say they eat more fresh produce than they did five years ago.

These points are just a few of the many morsels worth chewing on in the IFIC 2012 Food & Health Survey.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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