A higher proportion of consumers in North America take dietary supplements than in any other region of the world, according to new research by Nielsen.
Researchers found 54% of people in North America took vitamin and other pills, compared with 43% in Asia, 30% in Europe and 28% in Latin America. On average, across all continents, 40% of consumers used supplements.
In terms of individual countries, the highest levels of usage were found in the Philippines and Thailand, where 66% of consumers said they took vitamins.
The primary benefit of taking vitamins and supplements, according to more than 60% of those surveyed, was to boost the immune system, a response most common in Asia.
In the US, 62% of respondents said they took vitamins and supplements to ensure a balanced diet, a response only matched by Japan with 60%.
France and Spain were the countries were usage was lowest, with just 17% and 13% of consumers, respectively, saying they took supplements. The primary reason for not taking vitamins was that their diets were already balanced and they saw no need to take them.
Many consumers in Poland, Russia and the Baltic states, meanwhile, told researchers they didn't take supplements because they felt it was "too difficult to understand which product to use."