Survey: Americans Find It Difficult to Adopt Healthier Lifestyle

WASHINGTON — Most Americans think about living a healthier lifestyle, but find it difficult to do so, the International Food Information Council (IFIC) Foundation’s, 2012 Food & Health survey shows.

IFIC’s survey, released Wednesday, shows six out of 10 Americans (58%) have given a lot of thought to what they consume, and the amount of physical activity they get (61%). A full 90% have given at least a little thought to those things. Yet, only 1 in 4 say their diet is healthful and 23 percent describe their diet as very unhealthful. Less than 20% meet the national Physical Activity Guidelines.

"Clearly, there is a disconnect for many Americans,” said Marianne Smith Edge, MS, RD, LD, FADA, Senior Vice President, Nutrition and Food Safety, IFIC Foundation, in a statement announcing the findings.

Three-quarters (76%) of participants agree “that ever-changing nutritional guidance makes it hard to know what to believe.” 

Participants said they rely mostly on their own research and judgment. In that regard, they said they’re trying to eat more whole grains, fiber and protein, while cutting back on calories, sugar, solid fats and salt. But they rated taste the number one factor in food choice.