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New Year Spikes Consumer Interest in Food, Nutrition Resolutions – Mirage News

2 minutes, 27 seconds Read

Joseph Balagtas, professor of agricultural economics at Purdue University. (Purdue Agricultural Communications photo/Tom Campbell)

Survey also shows food expenditures 20% higher than last January 

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Food or nutrition-related New Year’s resolutions were more popular among consumers going into 2024 compared to last year, according to the January Consumer Food Insights Report. This year 25% of consumers responded “yes” when asked if they had any food or nutrition-related New Year’s resolutions, up 6 percentage points from the response to the same question last year.

The survey-based report out of Purdue University’s Center for Food Demand Analysis and Sustainability assesses food spending, consumer satisfaction and values, support of agricultural and food policies, and trust in information sources. Purdue experts conducted and evaluated the survey, which included 1,200 consumers across the U.S. 

“The top words that popped up in people’s resolutions showed most consumers were focused on eating healthier by either limiting the intake of foods like sugar or increasing the intake of foods like fruits and vegetables,” said the report’s lead author, Joseph Balagtas, professor of agricultural economics at Purdue and director of CFDAS.

Some of the January survey results were categorized by body mass index (BMI), using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s adult BMI calculator.

“We see a slightly larger proportion of overweight consumers with resolutions, 29%, compared to non-overweight consumers with resolutions, 20%,” Balagtas said. Consumers cited improving health and weight loss as the top motivations behind their resolutions. Weight loss, however, was a primary motivator for 60% of consumers classified as overweight, compared to 26% of non-overweight consumers. 

To create this month’s diet and nutrition survey questions, the research team consulted Purdue’s Heather Eicher-Miller, professor of nutrition science in the College of Health and Human Sciences.

“As one might expect, the majority of consumers plan to increase their consumption of fruits, vegetables and water while limiting the intake of salty snacks, sugary foods, regular soft drinks and alcohol,” Balagtas said.

Among consumers who planned to decrease their consumption of a certain food, 46% anticipated cravings as an obstacle. For those trying to eat more of a certain food, a majority anticipated cost as a barrier.

“The survey reveals a strong perception that healthy diets are more expensive than less healthy diets,” Balagtas noted. “And while this perception is true for many of the poorest people around the world, it’s not necessarily the case here in the U.S. Measuring the cost of a diet actually turns out to be a little complex, and it’s something we’re working on at the center. But I think it is possible for most of us in the U.S. to improve our diets in a cost-effective way.”  

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