Survey: Diet aids are out, lifestyle changes are in


DES MOINES, Iowa  — Purveyors of diet aids beware. Women are no longer pursuing the latest fad diet to trim the inches as part of their New Year's resolutions or ahead of beach season, according to the latest survey from Meredith Corp.'s Better Homes & Gardens.

Instead, they're making healthy lifestyle changes, and that may be impacting sales of diet aid tablets at the shelf. Heading into the holiday season, sales of diet aid tablets were down 10.2% to $326.3 million for the 52 weeks ended Oct. 30, according to IRI data culminated across total U.S. multi-outlets.

"While women continue to be health-conscious, their approach to their diet has changed," stated Nancy Hopkins, senior food editor of Better Homes & Gardens. "These women no longer want short term solutions from diet fads and tricks; they want to make meaningful changes that will last them over the course of their lives."

In fact, two-thirds of women polled as part of the "Food Factor: The Evolution of Eats" survey, reported they and their households are eating healthier in the last two years. And just over half say they do not follow a specific diet but have recently made significant modifications in what and how they eat.

This new approach has led to big changes in dieting in the last two years:

  • 63% of women are now focusing on eating healthier foods in general – compared to only 50% in 2014;

  • Only 27% of women say they or any household member has followed a special diet in the last year – down 20 percentage points from 2014;

  • 64% are paying more attention to nutrition than they did two years ago – compared to only 53% in 2014;

  • 53% say they are working to make small, permanent changes in their eating. As many as 71% of women are eating more vegetables – up 14 percentage points from 2014, while 66% of women are eating more fruits – up 19 percentage points from 2014;

  • Half of women are now adding more salad to their diets, and three in five even grow their own fruits and vegetables;

  • While fruit and vegetable consumption is up, women are eating 33% less meat than before, with about one in three women having occasional vegetarian meals/days; and

  • 85% say they consider the healthfulness of a recipe before selecting it, and 50% have changed recipes so that they're healthier.

"Food Factor: The Evolution of Eats" was fielded in July 2016 and, in total, more than 2,000 responses were collected from respondents, U.S. women ages 18 and older.



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