Given the nature of this website, I'd HOPE that most people here know what a calorie is. It seems though that your average Joe on the street doesn't have a clue, which is quite startling.
I say that your average Joe doesn't know what a calorie is because awhile back I was watching "Supersize Me" and saw that at one point they went around asking random people on the street what a calorie is. I believe not one of about a dozen people they asked could tell them. Most people said something like that a calorie was a type of fat, or that calories were things you shouldn't eat too much of. When I saw this I assumed that they had done some editing and just showed the people who didn't know, but I wanted to see for myself. So I went around and asked a bunch of people I knew what a calorie was. Ignoring my physics friends, not one person I asked could tell me what a calorie was. Even though I still don't know just how much editing they did on Supersize Me, and I know my own little poll had far to small a sample size, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that these results are probably pretty representative of the population at large.
Anyway, with how much dietary issues and stories end up in the media I find it amazing that so few people know what a calorie actually is. It's no wonder that even though the media and internet are awash in dietary information that your average Joe is still fat... If you don't even know WHAT a calorie is I don't see how you could effectively understand the basics of any diet or any sort of dietary principles. I'm not trying to say that people fail at diets or fail to establish good eating habits only because they are ignorant--obviously lack of self control and will power are the biggest factors--nevertheless this sort of ignorance can't be helping.
Comments anyone? Is this complete and utter lack of basic dietary knowledge, despite the wash of dietary information available, really a big deal? How could the various governmental health campaigns and private diet marketing fail so thoroughly that your average person STILL doesn't know what a fucking calorie is?