ADA survey shows more Americans paying attention to exercise, healthy eating

CHICAGO The American Dietetic Association this week released a report called “Nutrition and You: Trends 2008” that shows Americans, on average, are paying more attention to their eating and exercise habits.

The survey questioned 783 men and women nationwide and asked questions about how often they exercised and what measures they took to maintain a healthful diet. 

Many respondents (43 percent)  said that they already practiced a healthy lifestyle, up from about 38 percent in 2002. Those who said they are aware of the steps they should take in order to maintain a healthy active lifestyle comprised 38 percent, up from 30 percent in 2002. And the percentage of respondents who said that they just don’t care or won’t make the effort to practice good eating and exercise habits totaled 19 percent—down from 32 percent in 2002. 

The survey also showed that about 56 percent are purposefully consuming more whole grains. Fifty percent said they are eating more vegetables, while 41 percent said they are eating less beef, 23 percent reported eating less dairy, and 33 percent said they have reduced the amount of pork that they consume.

According to ADA’s survey, approximately three in five consumers said diet, nutrition and physical activity are “very important” to them personally. Women were more likely than men to say both are very important and younger adults were much less likely than older people to consider diet and nutrition “very important,” while exercise and physical activity were seen as very important by all age groups.

ADA’s survey was conducted by Mintel International between Feb. 15 and March 7, 2008 and included telephone interviews with 783 respondents 18 or older.

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