Santa Ana-based The Values Institute at DGWB, a social science research company and division of DGWB Advertising and Communications, has released its top five consumer health trends for the New Year. While many Americans resolve to adopt healthier habits each year, the group’s research found that health will be a primary goal for three out of four consumers in 2012.
1. America’s Infatuation with Boosting Energy…Naturally.
The Values Institute expects energy drinks to remain popular, but also expects health-focused consumers to seek energy boosts from natural sources, like green tea and whole grains.
2. Sleepless in America…Especially Among Women.
Research indicates that 76 percent of Americans want to improve their health by getting more sleep, and also shows a connection between sleep deprivation – which plagues two-thirds of women – and depression, weight gain and high blood pressure.
3. The Rise of the “Flexitarians.”
Following a trend towards better health, the Institute predicts that more Americans will adopt a flexitarian diet, significantly cutting meat out of their diet without becoming full vegetarians – a shift that it attributes in part to the nonprofit promotion of Meatless Monday meals.
4. Digital Accountability.
Americans have turned to digital devices to manage appointments and finances, and now, they will look to online applications and websites to increase accountability for health goals, including quitting smoking and losing weight. These applications, which remind and encourage people to meet their goals, provide a source of motivation for well-intentioned Americans.
5. DIY Health? There’s an App for That.
Smartphones will hold more health-conscious apps to measure blood pressure and other health aspects, the Institute says. The apps, which allow users to easily monitor their health and share medical information with doctors, were first developed as a low-cost alternative to expensive healthcare.
“These trends are consistent with the growing importance of health in America. It’s not an exaggeration to say that […] the great majority of Americans would rather be considered healthy rather than wealthy,” said Values Institute president Mike Weisman.
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