Body Image Influences Nutritional Supplements Purchases

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Is there a correlation between Americans being dissatisfied with their bodily image and their decisions to purchase nutritional supplements? Let's crunch some numbers.

America's Body Image

"Most Americans report feeling unhappy with how their body looks at times (79% vs. 21% never, I am always satisfied with how my body looks), with dissatisfaction most prevalent when looking in the mirror (37%), when at the beach in a bathing suit (32%), or when shopping for clothes (31%)," according to the recent online survey conducted by Ipsos. "Another 8% of those surveyed, it doesn’t matter where they are — they always feel dissatisfied with how they look."

The majority of both men and women (74% and 83%) across America say that they are not happy with the way their bodies look currently. This is an issue that encompasses all age groups. However, younger Americans are more likely to be dissatisfied when they look in the mirror compared to their older counterparts (86% of those ages 18–34 vs. 75% of those 55+). Additionally, the more educated an American is, the more harshly they tend to view their own bodies, as 82% of Americans with college degrees have negative body images compared to the 75% who feel the same with no college degree.

What is the Ideal Body?

Americans aren't content to wallow in their negative opinions of their bodies, though. Ipsos found that most Americans want to be proactive in achieving their ideal body type. Since that body type is predominantly athletic, nutritional supplements can have a hand to play in the transformation. The ideal, desired body type based on gender is:

  • Female: The general consensus is that the ideal female body type is athletic (43%) and thin (34%). However, there are some Americans who believe the ideal female body type is curvy (34%) or muscular (3%).
  • Male: Nearly without exception, the general standard for the ideal American male body type is athletic.

Nutritional Supplements and Body Image

What actions are Americans willing to take to achieve their dream bodies? The most popular option is exercise. 55% of Americans claim they'd be willing to exercise several times on a weekly basis to achieve their dream bodies, while 15% would be willing to undergo an extreme daily exercise routine, even to the point of being in pain. 21% would also be open to the inclusion of nutritional supplements and performance-​enhancing dietary supplements (protein, creatine, vitamins and minerals, etc.) in their body transformation routine.

According to AudienceSCAN, Vitamin/​Nutritional Supplements Shoppers have a number of goals in mind for this year, including exercise more (62.4%), eat healthier (60.3%), and lose weight (51%). Along with nutritional supplements, Ipsos also found that Americans are open to taking weight-​loss pills (14%), going on intensely limiting diets (12%), intermittent fasting (11%), and/​or going as far as to paying for weight loss surgery (10%), all in the pursuit of their ideal body. 10% of Americans say that they'd do absolutely anything that wouldn't kill them in exchange for their perfect body.

Vitamin/​Nutritional Supplements Shoppers are 33% more likely than average to ask a doctor or pharmacist about specific medications they've seen advertisements for, says AudienceSCAN. Where are they seeing these ads? In the past year, 66% of these consumers took action after receiving ads and coupons via direct mail and another 61.2% reacted to TV ads. Another 42% plan to take a trip to the beach this year, so supplement retailers can advertise their products' ability to help consumers attain their ideal beach body in time for vacation season.

AudienceSCAN data is available for your applications and dashboards through the SalesFuel API. Media companies and agencies can access AudienceSCAN data through the AudienceSCAN Reports in AdMall.

Rachel Cagle

Rachel Cagle

Rachel is a Research Analyst, specializing in audience intelligence, at SalesFuel. She also helps to maintain the major accounts and co-​op intelligence databases. As the holder of a Bachelors degree in English from The Ohio State University, Rachel helps the rest of the SalesFuel team with their writing needs.