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Americans Now Showing More Interest in Nutrition, Diet Information

Tuesday, June 11, 2002

A growing number of Americans are adopting a healthful diet and seeking nutrition information, according to results from the American Dietetic Association’s nationwide survey Nutrition and You: Trends 2002. This conclusion may influence the debate among meat packers and processors regarding the importance of supplying nutritional information on meat packaging.

ADA’s survey, conducted every two years, questions a representative sample of American adults concerning their opinions on the importance of nutrition to their lifestyle. The survey grouped its respondents into the following categories:

  • I’m Already Doing It –- people who made significant adjustments to their eating behavior during the past two years to achieve a more nutritious diet.

  • I Know I Should, But… -- people who feel they know what a healthful diet is and that they should eat a healthful diet, but for one reason or another haven’t done so.

  • Don't Bother Me -- people who, whether or not they feel informed about healthful eating, have decided it's not a concern of theirs.

ADA’s 2002 data indicates that 38 percent of Americans are in the "I’m Already Doing It" category, a 10 percent increase over the 2000 data and the largest percentage in this category to date. The “I Know I Should, But…” category dropped from 40 percent of respondents in 2000 to 30 percent in 2002, the lowest percentage ever in this category. However, data from the third “Don’t Bother Me” category held steady at 32 percent from 2000 to 2002.

ADA spokesman Keith Ayoob said the “Don’t Bother Me” category may be settling at a permanently low level, well below its 40 percent high in 1997. This suggests that any future migration of consumers among the categories likely will be from the “I Know I Should, But…” category to the “I’m Already Doing It” category, increasing the percentage of Americans actively seeking and implementing nutrition information.

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