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Study: Half of US Adults Realize Need for Dietary Changes

Posted: September 24, 2012

In spite of their overly positive assessment of their own health, almost half of all U.S. adults—104 million—realize they need to change their diet in order to improve their healthiness of their lives, a recently released NPD food and beverage market study has found.

U.S. adults define healthy eating in terms of adding to or taking something out of their diets differently, according to NPD’s The Market for Functional Foods report. Of the 1,921 adults NPD surveyed, 55% said eating healthy is equally adding to and taking out of their diet. Of the remaining adults surveyed, 26% said “adding something to the diet” is healthy eating, and 19% said “taking something out” of the diet is healthy.

As dieting becomes less popular, one-third of adults (almost 80 million) indicate strong interest in functional foods and beverages, and one in four adults are already using a functional food or beverage at least once a day. Vitamin supplement usage is on the rise for both kids and adults and more consumers are looking to functional foods and beverages with pro-active health benefits like probiotics. 

“A huge opportunity exists to increase functional product usage among adults and teens, who have already tried functional products at some point but are not using them on a daily basis,” said Darren Seifer, an NPD food and beverage industry analyst. “If the 118 million less frequent adult users could be encouraged to include just one more functional food or beverage into their diet each week, this would result in an increase of over 6 billion eatings each year.”