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ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- Despite nutritionally unhealthy temptations everywhere, many adults say they are finding ways to eat healthy, according to a new survey by Harris Interactive.
Among the highlights of the study, "Healthy Eating: Impact on the Consumer Packaged Goods Industry," are findings that almost 64 percent of adults consider themselves healthy eaters, while 45 percent say they follow some type of health-conscious diet.
Furthermore, the survey -- which examined how often adults are consuming these types of foods and what they perceive to be their main benefits -- found substantial numbers of consumers reporting they try to incorporate healthy foods into their daily meals and snacks.
Many consumers also appear to be turning to the organic food sections in supermarkets for healthy options.
While a majority of all adults consider themselves to be healthy eaters and many follow healthy diets, some groups are more likely than others to say or do these things.
Three-quarters of adults aged 55 and over consider themselves to be healthy eaters, while 47 percent of those aged 18 to 34 would say the same. Adults with incomes over $75,000 are most likely to consider themselves to be healthy eaters.
Most say they regularly try to consume healthy foods during breakfast (58 percent) and dinner (69 percent); but substantial numbers also make the effort to do so for lunches at home (39 percent) or at work or school (27 percent), and while dining out (24 percent) or snacking mid-morning (15 percent), in the afternoon (14 percent) and in the evening (17 percent).
The adage that breakfast is the most important meal of the day seems to ring true for those aged 55 and older, as almost three-quarters say they try to consume healthy foods for breakfast on a regular basis. These adults are also most likely to try to consume healthy foods regularly for lunch at home, while those aged 35 to 44 are most likely to do this during dinner, when eating at a restaurant, or when snacking no matter the time of day.
"Imagine a continuum with indulgent eating at one end and healthy eating at the other," said Anne Aldrich, s.v.p. of the Consumer Packaged Goods Research Practice at Harris Interactive. "Consumers with varied lifestyles, age and health conditions touch the continuum at different points throughout the day in different ways: some choose meals and snacks that may be very healthy, while others may not. Many consumer packaged goods companies recognize this continuum and try to provide products that serve their varying eating needs and preferences."
A copy of Healthy Eating: Impact on the Consumer Packaged Goods Industry can be obtained upon request by visiting http://www.harrisinteractive.com.