Health Survivor: 'Health Reality' Profile Series Pt. 1

Health Survivors: 'Health Reality' Profile Series Pt. 1

This month, we are highlighting three behavior change profiles identified in the IFIC Foundation 2014 Food & Health Survey. Earlier this year, the Survey revealed consumers are increasingly considering healthfulness when purchasing foods and beverages. This growing interest in the healthfulness of foods and beverages is evident of a trend among Americans to improve their dietary habits. In order to further understand consumers’ motivations, additional analysis was conducted to segment the data based on stages of behavior change. This week will focus on Health Survivors, those who did not report making any dietary changes, but may be thinking about it.

More on the Health Reality Profiles Project


Who are (Health) Survivors?

According to the Survey, compared to Health Apprentices and American Health Idols, Survivors are:

  • Younger, on average
  • Higher rate of less than high school education
  • Higher rate of males
  • More likely to be single
  • More likely to be not doing anything regarding their weight
  • Less likely to plan for all meal occasions or use planning tools
  • Generally not talking about food and beverage choices, or even thinking about issues related to food
  • Less likely to think about calories
  • Less likely to use nutrition information when eating out

Do any of these characteristics describe you? Let Food Insight know!


Dear Survivors...

So you’re out there surviving- juggling life’s many priorities. It can be difficult to devote the time and effort necessary to improve your diet.  The good news is, it’s never too late to begin thinking about making some changes or preparing yourself to do so when the time is right!

You’re not alone as a Survivor. Approximately 7% of Americans fall into this group, according to the IFIC Foundation’s 2014 Food and Health Survey. Survivors may be in different stages individually. Some may not be thinking about the healthfulness of their foods at all. On the other hand, some may be thinking about their diet, but have yet to make any changes. The question is what motivates you to move to the next stage?

Sometimes, we all need a little extra motivation, even Apprentices and Idols. However, as individuals, we are all personally motivated by different factors. The key here is to think about the important things in your life and consider how your diet may impact those things. You can draw a relationship from the healthfulness of your diet to essentially any priority in your life. For example:

  • Work/School: Inadequate nutrition can negatively affect your energy and cognitive performance.
  • Family: You want to spend many happy, healthy years with your family. A healthful diet can add years onto your life.
  • Sports and Exercise: The body of research on sports nutrition has expanded rapidly in the past decade. From macronutrient distribution to supplements and ergogenic aids, researchers are discovering how diet can boost your workouts.
  • Money: Eating healthfully can save you money in the long run by lowering health care-related costs. And there are ways to eat healthfully on a budget, so you can accrue your future savings without sacrificing any money up front.
  • Are you thinking about your diet a little differently now? That’s a good start. Below are more strategies to find some additional motivation.


Becoming a Health Apprentice

Here are some things you can do to put you on the path to becoming a Health Apprentice (and eventually, an American Health Idol!).

  • Research the health risks associated with overconsuming calories and benefits of balancing calorie intake with physical activity.
  • Think about how consuming smaller portions to manage weight will improve your life and the lives of others.
  • Make a personal commitment, such as a contract, to increase fruits and vegetables.
  • Talk to family and friends who have successfully managed their sodium intake about their experience.
  • Recognize that changing your diet can be achieved with perseverance.

Challenge yourself to get motivated! Be sure to share the quiz, behavior change resources, and Food and Health Survey results with your friends and family to see how they stack up!

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