May 14/Yonkers, N.Y. /PRNewswire -- Women find many excuses not to eat healthy and many feel bad about it, but according to a new national poll in the June 2012 issue of ShopSmart magazine, from the publisher of Consumer Reports, the cost of healthful foods is the top deterrent and keeps 57% of women from doing so. 

"Eating healthy can be challenging for many women -- especially when we are surrounded by temptations," said Lisa Lee Freeman, editor-in-chief of ShopSmart. "It can be easy to make excuses, but if you know how to shop for the right foods, healthy eating can become a choice so easy that it becomes as automatic as reaching for the phone to order a pizza."

Here are some additional findings from ShopSmart's poll about women's habits and feelings about healthy eating:

The majority of women (88%) make excuses for not eating healthful foods, with cost (57%) being the most popular excuse.

Social temptations (47% of women) are one of the biggest barriers women face in eating healthy; 44% claim they are more likely to eat poorly when they are around others, compared with 36% who tend to eat worse when they are alone.

Although half of women feel good about their eating habits, more than one-third (39%) feel they could be better, and 7% feel really bad about their habits.

Overall, women attempt to eat healthy. Most women (73%) are looking at nutrition labels, and more than half (53%) of women have tried to buy more healthful foods in the past year.

More than half (55%) of women have tried to get their family to eat healthier; however, nearly one quarter (23%) have been unsuccessful in their attempts.

Dinner (37%) and breakfast (36%) finish equally as the healthiest meal women eat in a day; only 24% feel lunch is the healthiest meal they eat.

Cravings are another obstacle that can sideline healthy eating habits. Nearly two-thirds (63%) of women admit to having regular cravings of a particular food, with chocolate (43%) being the number one culprit. There is hope, as 45% of women actually crave healthy foods, including 39% who regularly crave fruits and 34% who regularly crave salad or vegetables.

 From the May 14, 2012, Prepared Foods’ Daily News