America’s wellness habits show room for improvement: Survey

By Mike Stones

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Nutrition

When it comes to making New Year’s resolutions, many Americans would be well advised to focus on wellness and need support to improve their health, according to the results of a new study promoted by the Council for Responsible Nutrition.

The survey, 2009 Life…supplemented My Wellness Scorecard National Study​, managed by CRN, revealed that many Americans have a long way to go towards achieving wellness based on the three pillars of health: Healthy diet, responsible supplement use and regular exercise.

Although more than half of Americans (51 percent) report that they avoid processed, fatty and cholesterol-rich foods, 27 percent admit to eating too much fatty food like red meat and cream cheese, according to the survey conducted last October by Ipsos Public Affairs.

While 63 percent try to eat two to three servings of whole grains every day, 30 percent do not pay attention to their intake of oils or salt consumption (24 percent).

Multivitamin

But more than half of American adults take a multivitamin, and 45 percent report taking a dietary supplement other than a multivitamin. General health improvement was listed as the main reason for taking supplements.

A third try to take exercise at least two to three times a week (36 percent) and nearly two-thirds (61 percent) exercise for 30 minutes or more.

The scorecard study evaluated Americans’ wellness regimens on a scale from AlphaWELL (those who are proactive about their health) to “OhWELL” (those who do not live healthy lifestyles). But three out of every four Americans fall into the category of “WannabeWELL” (44 percent) or “OhWELL” (33 percent), according to the survey.

Judy Blatman, senior vice president, Communications, told NutraIngredientsUSA.com:

“What we’ve learned from this survey is that we are a nation of WannabeWELLs. That’s not all bad—because it means people want to do things to improve. The survey tells us that Americans are falling short, particularly when it comes to eating a healthy diet and getting enough exercise.

Dietary supplements

“Through Life…supplemented, we are encouraging that people take simple steps—focused on the three pillars of health: healthy diet, dietary supplements and exercise—that can help move people towards wellness in 2010.”

Dr William Cooper, medical director of cardiovascular surgery at Wellstar Kennestone Hospital and advisor to the “Life…supplemented​” campaign, added: “What many Americans need are the proper tools to get healthy: simple, easy-to-understand wellness tips and health information​.”

Healthy diet, vitamins and other supplements, and exercise work together to form a foundation for wellness​,” says Dr. Cooper. “The more education Americans have about these three pillars, the easier it will be to live healthy lifestyles​.”

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