Nielsen has released its August 2014 “Health and Wellness in America.”
Among the study’s findings is the disconnect between American’s desire for a health lifestyle and actual behavior.
According to findings in the Nielsen/NMI Health & Wellness:
• 89% of respndents say taking personal responsibility for one’s health is the best way to stay healthy (aspiration) but only 70% say they’re actually “actively trying to be healthier” (behavior)
· 75% say they feel they can manage health issues through nutrition (aspiration) yet 50% say it’s a challenge to eat healthy (behavior)
· 64% say they will take whatever means necessary to control their own health but 66% say they don’t exercise enough and more than 50% say they “splurge” when dining out and yield to cravings.
· 50% of Americans say availability of organic or nutritionally enhanced products have no or next to no impact on their grocery purchases
So why do we have this disconnect?
· Perception of price – 54%s said healthy foods were too expensive to eat regularly
· Perception of taste – 50% said they were not willing to give up taste for health.
Another trend noted in the study is the use of fortified or nutritionally-enhanced and functional foods and beverages, which has exploded over the last few years. Nielsen found on- third of American adults say they believe that functional foods and drinks can be substituted for some of the medicines they take.
The new Nielsen/NMI Health & Wellness in America report studies this phenomenon as well as other health and wellness trends impacting Americans today.
· 66% of Americans said they had consumed fortified foods or beverages over the year
· 75% of Americans believe they can manage many of their health issues through nutrition
· 33% said they believe functional foods and drinks can be substituted for some of the medicines they take
· Americans are label conscious: 73% of Americans said they had consumed high protein food and beverages in the past year.
· 27% of Millennials are more responsive than the average consumer to health packaging claims
The study also revealed that opportunities exist to educate consumers on nutrition. Some 40% of respondents expressed confusion over nutritional labeling on packages. To assist customers, manufacturers and retailers alike need to provide consumers with easy-to-understand and transparent nutritional information, the report noted.