The survey, conducted by online in December by Harris Poll, asked over 2,000 U.S. adults to select (all that apply of) health and wellness habits they are committing to in 2015, and “taking vitamins” made the top five (47%), along with drinking enough water (72%); eating healthy/healthier in general (66%); getting more physically active (62%); and getting more sleep (49%).
CRN has conducted market surveys for a number of years and so can spot trends in that history. In this case, the survey serves more as a baseline, said Judy Blatman, senior vice president, communications for CRN.
“This is the first survey of this type we have done asking this question,” Blatman told NutraIngredients-USA. The CRN survey shows how deeply the vitamin message has penetrated, and how much more work needs to be done.
“We did see an interesting survey recently from Pfizer that ran in Prevention. Their results showed that more than three-quarters of American believe it is fairly easy to get a balance of nutrients directly from the diet. Yet the majority believe that they are still not getting enough of a particular nutrient,” she said.
Blatman said CRN’s survey shows that most Americans realize that covering all of their nutrient bases may not be possible in the context of the modern American diet.
“Getting all of their micronutrients is one of the top wellness habits they are looking for. They realize that there are practical reasons why that may not be possible,” Blatman said. “They are looking at vitamins as an insurance policy, so to speak.”
Blatman said the results of the Pharmavite study reported yesterday in NutraIngredients-USA also figures into this picture. One of the surprising data points coming out of that study was that the “normal” weight group, defined as those people with a Body Mass Index of less than 25, ate the most calories per day, indicating that other factors, such as greater exercise (not quantified in the study) or perhaps genetic factors, are in play. A key finding of the study, however, is that obese people were in general not getting enough micronutrients.
“We are a country that overeats but we are undernourished. Most of us are not eating enough foods that give us the right nutrients in the right amounts,” Blatman said. “We are interested in finding out what are the habits of healthy people. We know the people who are taking dietary supplements are also more likely to engage in healthy habits like eating right, getting enough exercise and getting enough sleep. It is a compilation of smart choces that seem like they are your best bet for staying healthy.”