Consumers Think They Need More Vitamins, Minerals

The new year means millions of Americans have once again made resolutions to eat right and live healthier lifestyles. Though eating healthy might be a priority, new research reveals Americans are concerned about getting enough vitamins and minerals from their daily diet. A survey from Prevention and Centrum finds that although more than 75% of Americans believe it is fairly easy to get recommended daily values of vitamins and minerals by eating a healthy, balanced diet, nearly half of those polled are concerned they might not be getting enough of 1 or more key nutrients.

‰ÛÏThese findings show that though most Americans think it‰Ûªs easy to get the recommended amount of vitamins and nutrients, few are confident in their own diets,‰Û said Dr. Holly Phillips, contributing editor, Prevention and health and medical contributor, CBS News. ‰ÛÏEating a healthy, balanced diet is essential, but these findings also suggest Americans do not fully understand the vital role of key vitamins and minerals and how they need to be part of our daily routine.‰Û

How Nutrition Stacks Up

Nearly all Americans (88%) say that eating a balanced diet and achieving a healthy weight are important in their lives, but when it comes to how they look and feel, what they eat and drink (71%) is just as important as their hairstyle (71%), and less important than their wardrobe (77%) or how much they weigh (85%). While most Americans say nutritional content factors into the groceries they buy (80%) and meals and snacks prepared at home (75%), the findings reveal different behaviors:

  • Just 24% of Americans actually spend a lot of time looking at the nutritional content of the foods they eat and buy versus 74% who rarely ever look at or just glance at nutritional content.
  • Among those who do look at nutritional content (spend a lot of time or just glance), more are concerned about calories (72%) and fat content (61%) than vitamin and minerals types (33%) or amounts (30%).

Nutrition Know-How

76% of Americans say they are confident they know which vitamins and nutrients they need, yet most (63%) also agree it is impossible to keep up with so much conflicting nutrition news. The survey also gauged respondents‰Ûª knowledge about the benefits of specific vitamins and minerals:

  • Nearly half are concerned they may be lacking enough of one or more key nutrients.
  • Both vitamin D and calcium are at the top of the list of nutrients that most concern these Americans. However, half or more of respondents were unsure about the foods that can provide essential nutrients such as magnesium, vitamin A and vitamin E.
  • Few could correctly indicate the health benefits of essential nutrients such as magnesium and vitamin A.

Making a Change

Among those concerned that they may not be getting enough of one or more key nutrients, 60% have not changed their diets in the past year to increase the amount of vitamins and minerals they are consuming. One in five respondents have actually been told by a doctor that they have a nutrient deficiency, yet more than half of overall Americans report that they don‰Ûªt take a multivitamin that can help fill dietary gaps.

‰ÛÏThe scientific evidence from numerous nutritional studies demonstrates that many Americans don‰Ûªt get enough nutrients from food alone,‰Û said nationally recognized nutrition expert, Elisa Zied, MS, RDN, CDN, author of Younger Next Week. ‰ÛÏThere is a strong and persuasive body of evidence to demonstrate the benefits of a complete daily multivitamin, such as Centrum, which includes the six essential nutrients many people don‰Ûªt get enough of from food alone.‰Û

AudienceSCAN data reveals that 62.4% of U.S. consumers shop at drug stores. 47% of them are men. Health, in general, is important to this group of shoppers: 46% walk long distances for their health.

16% purchased at a product party or directly from a distributor (Herbalife, Amway, Advocare, etc.) AudienceSCAN finds that drugstore shoppers think the following media are the best sources for health/medical information: TV 13%; magazines 9%; newspapers 7%.

While these health-conscious consumers are shopping for vitamins in drug stores, they're likely to pick up: Perfume/cologne (30%); a greeting card (32%); cosmetics (35%); and possibly some reading glasses (35%).

AudienceSCAN data is available as part of a subscription to AdMall for Agencies. Media companies can access AudienceSCAN data through the Audience Intelligence Reports inåÊAdMall.

Courtney Huckabay
Courtney is the Editor for SalesFuel Today. She analyzes secondary customer research and our primary AudienceSCAN research. Courtney is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University.