New research shows Americans have a long way to go toward achieving wellness based on the three pillars of health: healthy diet, responsible supplement use and regular exercise.
The “Life…supplemented My Wellness Scorecard National Study” evaluated Americans’ wellness regimens on a scale from “AlphaWELL” (those who are proactive about their health) to “OhWELL” (those who do not live healthy lifestyles). Results show three out of every four Americans fall into the category of “WannabeWELL” (44 percent) or “OhWELL” (33 percent).
“These ‘WannabeWELLs’ are on the cusp of wellness,” says William Cooper, M.D., medical director of cardiovascular surgery at Wellstar Kennestone Hospital and advisor to the “Life…supplemented” campaign. “They want to be healthier, but may not know where to start. What many Americans need are the proper tools to get healthy: simple, easy-to-understand wellness tips and health information.”
Study participants used an online assessment tool created with registered dietitians and other wellness experts that evaluates diet, exercise and supplement use, revealing some of the following trends in the American lifestyle:
- Just over half of Americans (51%) report that they do a fairly good job of avoiding processed, fatty and cholesterol-rich foods
- 27% admit they eat too much fatty food like red meat and cream cheese.
- Athough 63% try to eat two to three servings of whole grains every day, many aren’t paying attention to their intake of oils (30%) or consumption of salt (24%).
- Also, 46% don’t track how much fiber they eat
- Just 37% report to limit the salt they use in cooking and read food labels carefully to limit other sources of salt and sodium.
Americans fare better when it comes to daily or weekly habits:
- More than half of American adults take a multivitamin
- 45% report taking a dietary supplement other than a multivitamin
- 36% try to adhere to their exercise regimens at least two to three times a week
- Nearly two-thirds (61%) exercise for 30 minutes or more
The number one reason supplement users take supplements is for general health.
“Healthy diet, vitamins and other supplements, and exercise work together to form a foundation for wellness,” says Dr. Cooper. “The more education Americans have about these three pillars, the easier it will be to live healthy lifestyles.”