Most Britons have a "troubling" lack of understanding about the calorie content of everyday foods, a health charity has warned.
A survey, commissioned by the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF), found two out of three adults underestimated the calorie level of foods such as houmous and light mayonnaise. Only 32 per cent said houmous was high in calories while only 29 per cent said the same about the mayonnaise.
Houmous contains an average 332 calories per 100g while reduced fat mayonnaise contains an average of 259 calories. The poll also found 20 per cent mistakenly believe bananas are high in calories. The WCRF said the findings are worrying because being overweight is linked to cancer, heart disease and diabetes.
Maya Monteiro, senior education manager, said: "This troubling lack of understanding is perhaps not helped by labels such as 'light' when applied to foods which still have a high calorie content. If people are unaware which foods contain lots of calories, it makes it more difficult to adopt a diet that helps maintain a healthy weight."