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May 5, 2006

US: Health low on priority list

Latest research reveals that personal accountability for health in the US is at an all time low as people are more convenience-driven and time-constrained.

Latest research reveals that personal accountability for health in the US is at an all time low as people are more convenience-driven and time-constrained.


Part two of the Food for Life Study by marketing consultancy Yankelovich analysed consumers’ attitudes and behaviours towards diet, nutrition and preventative healthcare.
 
The average American rated their diet at home at 6.8 out of 10 and 4.9 out of 10 away from home, in terms of health and wellness.


Nearly half of consumers (44%) in the study believed they were solely responsible for the healthfulness of their diet, but were apathetic to their unhealthy behaviours without convenient and enjoyable food options.


Freshness was rated the number one characteristic to look for in determining healthy foods, but approximately 60% of the foods bought in the US for at-home meals were frozen, packaged/processed or prepared.


Yankelovich group president Steve Bodhaine said: “We are obsessed with processed food, junk food and quick service restaurants. When it comes to food preferences, taste and convenience trump nutritional balance. Consumers need food companies to offer tasteful, convenient foods that help make dieting more of a lifestyle and less of a punishment.


“With over one-third of the population saying ‘if it takes a lot of extra work to prepare it, I won’t eat it,’ and ‘I would have to totally revamp everything I do to eat well,’ it’s unrealistic to think any changes will be made without a strong push from food companies and restaurants.”

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