(Jan. 13) American consumers have never liked people telling them what to do.

A recent National Restaurant Association survey found that 68% of respondents said they were tired of hearing about what is good and what is bad for them when it comes to food. Story, Page A3

Produce marketers can learn a lesson from this. The finding seems to say that efforts such as 5 a Day are being heard and understood but that heavy-handed approaches to healthy eating may be met with reflexive defiance, like a teenager exerting his or her independence.

Americans are starting to choose healthier eating options, as shown by the growth of sandwich shops and the fact that burger firms such as Wendy’s, Burger King and McDonald’s are pushing a more produce-heavy menu.

For the sake of both produce companies’ bottom lines and consumers’ bottoms, taste and convenience should remain equal partners with health in produce marketing.