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Supplement use up to 69% of US adults: CRN survey

1 commentBy Stephen Daniells , 14-Mar-2012
Last updated on 14-Mar-2012 at 16:40 GMT

Supplements use among US adults has increased to a record level of 69%, according to results of a survey commissioned by the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN).

Multivitamins are still the most popular form of supplement, with 71% of users reporting taking a multivitamin, with 53% saying they take it daily.

In addition, women are the leading consumers, with 74% of women noted as supplement users, compared with 64% of men.

The findings are based on a survey conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs using a national sample of 2,015 adults aged 18 and older from Ipsos’ US online panel.

“As more consumers are educated about the role vitamins and other supplements play in their overall health and wellness, they are incorporating them into their lives along with other healthy practices such as trying to eat a healthy diet and getting regular exercise,” said Judy Blatman, senior vice president, communications, CRN.

Regular usage increase

Speaking with NutraIngredients-USA, Blatman noted that the number of regular users has reached its highest level of 53%, compared with 49% recorded in 2010.

In addition, regular users of a variety of supplements increased to 36%, up from 22% in 2005, added Blatman.

Other surveys, including those from the National Institutes of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements, have consistently place dietary supplement use in the US at around 50%.

Blatman noted that results from the CRN’s survey have been consistently higher than other surveys over the past five years. “As with any survey, it depends how you ask the questions,” she said.

Key findings & breakdown

And the CRN survey asked a lot of questions: The new survey indicated that consumer usage is up from 66% in 2010, 65% in 2009, and 64% in 2008.

The main reason for taking supplements was “overall health/wellness benefits” (40%), followed by “fill in nutrient gaps in my diet” (29%).

After multivitamins, the next big supplement segments were ‘Specialty Supplements’ (35%), ‘Herbals/Botanicals’ (23%), and ‘Sports Nutrition Supplements’ (17%).

The most used ‘specialty supplement’ was omega-3/fish oil, which increased by 2% to 23% in 2011. The next two most popular in the category were Glucosamine and/or Chondroitin (8 percent) and fiber (8 percent).

Letter vitamin supplement use was also up on 2010, said CRN, with 22% of the surveyed consumers taking vitamin D (up from 19% in 2010), 22% taking vitamin C (again up from 19% in 2010), and 17% taking a vitamin B/B complex (up from 14% in 2010).

Consumer confidence

The survey also revealed that consumer confidence in dietary supplements remains steady, with 84 % of adults confident in the safety, quality and effectiveness of supplements, compared with 82% in 2010 and 84% in 2009. 

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