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American Dietetic Association survey shows consumers are seeking diet nutrition information, getting the message, making changes

More Americans are seeking information on food and diet nutrition, tuning in to healthful-eating messages and taking action to improve their nutrition and health than at any time in the past decade, according to findings of the American Dietetic Association’s nationwide public opinion survey on diet nutrition trends: Nutrition and You: Trends 2002.

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The results show that consumers are paying close attention to healthy-eating messages and, especially in the last two years, they are acting on what they have heard to improve the diet-nutrition and health of themselves and their families.

Each of ADA’s surveys has grouped Americans into three categories, based upon their responses to questions about the importance of diet nutrition and physical activity in their lives and whether they feel they are doing all they can to achieve a healthful diet. The three categories are:

“I’m Already Doing It.”

These are people who say they have made significant adjustments in their eating behavior during the past two years to achieve a healthy, nutritious diet.

“I Know I Should, But…”

These people feel they know what healthful eating behavior is and that they should eat a healthy diet, but for one reason or another haven’t done so.

“Don’t Bother Me.”

These are people who – whether or not they feel informed about healthy eating – have decided that diet health and nutrition are not concerns of theirs.

ADA’s 2002 Nutrition Trends survey shows 38 percent of Americans fall into the “I’m Already Doing It” category – by far the largest percentage in that group in the survey’s history. In 2000, 28 percent said they were “already doing it,” the largest percentage to date at that point.

The number of people who fall into the “I Know I Should, But…” category
dropped to 30 percent this year – the lowest ever in this category – from 40 percent in 2000.

The percentages for the third category, “Don’t Bother Me,” were unchanged from 2000 to 2002, holding at 32 percent. That is down significantly from a high of 40 percent as recently as 1997.

These key indicators of people’s attitudes and behavior toward diet nutrition and physical activity have held remarkably stable over the past two years. Consumers seem to both recognize the related importance of diet and exercise and appear to be consistently making efforts to keep themselves and their families healthy.

SOURCE: American Dietetic Association

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