CivicScience | Pandemic-Influenced Diet Drives Americans to Focus on Healthier Habits

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Pandemic-Influenced Diet Drives Americans to Focus on Healthier Habits

Image Credit: Photo by Luke Chesser on Unsplash

Two of the most common themes for New Year’s Resolutions are diet and exercise. So to understand the current sentiment around these two topics, CivicScience asked more than 3,300 U.S. adults about their plans for healthy eating and working out this year. 

As the data show, a slight majority of U.S. adults plan to eat healthier and exercise more in 2021 (49% and 51% respectively). 

Interest in healthier eating may stem from a variety of factors, including the fact that 35% of respondents are interested in diets. In addition, 22% say they’ve been eating less healthy foods during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and 38% say they snack more when working from home. 

As for the diets that have garnered the most interest for the year ahead, the Mediterranean diet tops the list with 17% of U.S. adults curious to give it a try. The Ketogenic (Keto) diet and vegetarian diet round out the top three with 9% and 8% interest respectively.

So who will be adjusting their diet and exercise this year? As it turns out, 35- to 54-year-olds are leading the way in healthy eating, while 18- to 24-year-olds are committing to more exercise this year.

Women are more likely to both eat healthier and exercise more in the year ahead. 

Income plays a role in both topics as well, with higher-income respondents having a slight edge in plans to both eat healthier and exercise more in the year ahead. 

While large, regional grocery chains are the most popular for all shoppers, supercenter retailers seem to attract a large percentage of people who say they plan to eat less healthy.

And those who plan to exercise more this year already own or have access to a home gym or exercise equipment, suggesting that much of personal fitness might be taking place at home. 

Given a variety of factors–some of which may very well be the pandemic-induced, work-from-home lifestyle– eating healthier and exercising more are top of mind for many U.S. adults. While the Mediterranean diet has garnered the most interest from those considering adjusting their eating habits this year, women across age ranges, have largely taken the lead in committing to both eating healthier and exercising more.

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