Buzz About the Guidelines

February 08, 2011

The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans created a lot of buzz around the Internet and blogosphere. Find out what Americans actually think.

The government released the long awaited and overdue 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans last week, which emphasized various food groups, nutrients and other aspects of our diets that we should all be paying closer attention. PoliPulse, an online monitoring tool from Powell Tate, provides a measurement of the total volume of online conversation across five areas: environment, education, the economy, healthcare and defense. The media sweep analyzes the vast social networking sites on the Internet and other posts including Twitter and Facebook. PoliPulse aims to spot trends over time and highlight pivot points in the online conversation.
So what’s all the buzz about? Well, here’s what they found regarding the updated Dietary Guidelines for Americans. In general, the feedback is overwhelmingly neutral, and only about a third of the total conversations had a strong positive or negative angle. The opposition to the guidelines is divided into two camps: those who say they won’t do any good and those who think it was overly influenced by lobbyists.
The plurality, 24 percent, believes that the guidelines are needed and that specifically, Americans consume too much salt. Nineteen percent don't see a difference between the 2010 version and the 2005 version.  And interestingly enough the same amount, 16 percent, believe the guidelines are needed and that the obesity epidemic is too large, as those who believe the guidelines are absolutely meaningless!
About one eighth of the conversations were about the fact that “healthy eating is expensive” and that the guidelines were “negatively influenced by lobbyists.”
Tracking general conversations and the buzz about industry news can help shape initiatives and help determine specific areas of focus to better educate consumers. Understanding the target audience is pivotal in getting messages, across and tools likePoliPulse help to make this happen.