- About 41% of Americans say their eating habits are very good or excellent, while one-quarter deem their diets to be fair or poor, according to the Truven Health Analytics-NPR Health Poll.
- Just over one-third of consumers (35%) said they were confused about how much and what types of fats they should consume. Millennials admitted to the most confusion at 45%. The same was said by 38% of Generation X, 26% of baby boomers and 27% of the silent generation—those born before WWII.
- One-quarter of consumers said they were aware that federal guidelines no longer consider dietary cholesterol a concern, led by millennials at 29%. Of total consumers who were aware of the change, 22% reported eating more fat as a result, while 14% said they ate less.
Millennials (38%) were most likely to eat more fat as a result of knowing about the dietary guideline changes followed by Generation X (30%), while only 4% of baby boomers and 3% of the silent generation ate more fat. The silent generation were most likely to eat less fat as a result of knowing about the changes (22%), followed by millennials at 17%.
Millennials appear to be the most willing to change their dietary habits based on changes in guidelines, and a recent report found that 28% of millennials trust U.S. government agencies as a source of food information. However, nearly half of the number of millennials that began eating more fat did the opposite per their own interpretation of the federal guidelines.
Baby boomers were most likely to not change their habits, with 85% set in their ways. As the government continues to update guidelines, this could suggest to manufacturers that millennials may be most likely to make corresponding changes to their diets.
The survey also asked consumers about their grains consumption. Overall, 27% said they are eating more whole grains than they were six months ago, 11% said they are eating less, and 62% said they haven't changed their grain consumption habits.
The survey also demonstrated a disconnect: 41% of consumers consider their eating habits to be very good or excellent, but about 70% of Americans are overweight or obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As the FDA works to determine a new definition of the term "healthy," consumers may be trying to figure out what a healthy diet looks like themselves.