How are consumers thinking about weight management? ‘The bigger trend that’s going on is this increasingly holistic definition of wellness’

“Not being overweight is among the top 10 factors that contribute to consumers’ health and wellness definition, but it’s not the #1 thing,”​ Balanko told FoodNavigator-USA.

“It’s not just about a healthy weight and an attractive body, but it’s also about your ability to manage stress and anxiety. These issues are becoming inextricably tied.”

According to The Hartman Group’s 2021 research report​ more than half of consumers surveyed are identifying things such as “feeling good about myself”​ and “having strong immunity/ability to recover”​ as their top descriptions of health and wellness. 

“Not being ill”​ and “being able to deal with stress”​ are top health and wellness priorities for 46% of consumers.

Consumers don’t really talk about ‘dieting’ anymore

While not being overweight falls further down the list of consumers’ contemporary definition of health and wellness, it is still very much on their minds, however.

The Hartman Group found that 83% of consumers see their weight as needing improvement, and that they see food and beverage as the primary tool in weight management.

“There’s been a cultural shift away from exercise as a primary weight management tool to considering exercise more for the mental health benefits that it provides to many consumers,”​ notes Balanko.

Nearly half (48%) of consumers said they have tried a specific food approach in the last year with low-carb or Atkins and vegetarian eating as the top diets adopted by 10% of consumers, followed by intermittent fasting at 9%, and WW (Weight Watchers) at 5%. Forty-one percent of consumers also said that their diet has improved in the last year.

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