HealthFocus International Identifies Changing Attitudes Towards Short-term Dieting and Long-term Health

St. Petersburg, Florida, December 8, 2005—HealthFocus’ recently published USA research report entitled, The National Study of Public Attitudes and Actions Towards Shopping and Eating, shows that consumers are rejecting diets and dieting, in favor of healthy choices they can live with over a lifetime. In fact, confidence that weight can be managed by diet and exercise is down significantly from 93% in 1990 to 88% today.

“Shoppers tell us that diets are just recipes for failure. Even if successful in the short-term, the weight comes back on later unless real lifestyle adjustments are made,” explained Linda Gilbert, President of HealthFocus International. “Toward that end, shoppers are more interested in ‘eating healthier’ than in dieting.”

The study shows that while more shoppers today describe themselves as overweight, fewer are dieting to lose weight. Only 8% of all shoppers choose healthy foods or beverages primarily to “lose weight,” while 30% make choices to “ensure future good health.” And, 75% of shoppers strongly agree or agree that it is more important to eat light rather than diet.

“Almost nine in ten shoppers agree that eating from all of the food groups in moderation is a healthy way to eat,” added Ms. Gilbert. “Healthy and unhealthy choices co-exist in a balanced diet for consumers, so companies need to find the intersection between health and indulgence that will increase their product use without compromising consumer satisfaction.”

While the study concludes that the low carb diet has gone the way of other fad diets, HealthFocus predicts that the focus on limiting carbohydrates will have a lasting impact on how consumers think about health and weight management. The focus will be on smart carbs such as fiber to help manage blood sugar levels, and satiating proteins to satisfy one’s appetite.

The survey found that heart healthy diets prove to be the most popular diet choice (52% of all shoppers), followed by a diet low in fat (38%) and a diet high in fiber (38%). Low calorie diets and vegetarian diets trail with 22% and 8%, respectively.

For more information, please contact Julie Johnson, Marketing Manager at 727-821-7499, [email protected]. HealthFocus International’s biannual study is the longest running health and nutrition trend survey conducted in the USA. It is also conducted in 30 countries in the Americas, Asia, Europe, and the South Pacific. It identifies current issues for consumers with respect to health and nutrition, tracks changes in these priorities, and provides direction on where consumers are headed in their thinking about health and nutrition choices. The study can be purchased online at

HealthFocus International is a consumer marketing research and consulting firm specializing in consumer health & nutrition trends. With 20 years of experience working with the most successful food, beverage and supplement brand marketers and business leaders, HealthFocus International is an authoritative resource for companies who need to understand consumer attitudes and behavior toward health and nutrition choices.

Julie Johnson, Marketing Manager
[email protected]

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