A quick scan of the check out lines around the country shows, as far as food goes, sin is in. Dave Rotunno at Dean Foods says "a lot of the low fat, no fat products don't deliver good taste." Correspondent Cynthia Bowers reports.
Nine out of 10 Americans list taste as the most important, edging out nutrition. And surprising new research shows fewer people are worrying about fat content, the number dropped to just 46% this year from a high of 65% five years ago.
"Our biggest growth area today is regular full fat ice cream," says Rotunno. Food makers are poised to profit on that renewed love affair with fatty foods, touting taste and convenience, downplaying fat and calories. This despite the fact that 1 in 5 Americans is overweight.
"We say I'm gonna watch all the calories, we're reading the nutrition facts, we're gonna cut fat, next thing we go out to a fast food restaurant and we super-size the fries," says Mike Sansolo with Food Marketing Institute.
That contradiction may come from our changing life style. More Americans are stressed, time-pressed, and looking for new age comfort food. "Indulgence is what it's all about," says Sarah Branch with Sara Lee Corp. So the Corporation created a quick cooking calzone so stuffed with flavor, they say, consumers will overlook the fact that it is also stuffed with fat--12 grams of saturated fat, 60% of your daily allowance.
"When the economy's going well, people are looking for simple pleasures, ways to treat themselves everyday," says Phil Dolci with Dean Foods.
But doctors warn daily treats could carry a high cost. "It's a great way of, in fact, causing heart disease, stroke and memory loss," says Dr. Michael Roizen at the University of Chicago Hospital. "Unfortunately, it isn't what I would call a healthy indulgence."
Even as more Americans eat out, the financial pressure is on to give the public what it wants, even if its not always what it needs.
©MMII CBS Worldwide Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed