Overview & Summary
The 2011 Food & Health Survey: Consumer Attitudes toward Food Safety, Nutrition, and Health, conducted by the International Food Information Council Foundation, is the sixth annual, nationally representative, quantitative study designed to gain insights from consumers on various food safety, nutrition, and health-related topics. Findings from this Survey can help guide and shape future education and communication initiatives, as well as trend data, to measure the progress made toward achieving dietary guidance.
In 2011, questions were added to better understand food technology, fortified foods and foods with added benefits, meal occasions and restaurants, and additional insights into motivators and barriers associated with calories and energy balance, weight management, and physical activity level.
Press Release, Executive Summary, Full Report, and Webcast Slides
Click here to view Press Release.
Click here (PDF) for the Executive Summary.
Click here (PDF) to view the Full Report.
Click here (PPT) to view the Webcast Slides.
- While taste prevails and continues to be the main driver of purchasing foods and beverages in 2011 (87 percent), the price of food is increasingly becoming important for Americans consumers. In 2011, a majority of Americans (79 percent) says price impacts their decision when deciding which foods and beverages to purchase, a six percent increase from 2010 and a noteworthy 15 percent increase since 2006.
- Americans’ awareness of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans has increased (81 percent in 2011 compared to 71 percent in 2010). Still, 95 percent of Americans could not name another “healthy living” initiative beyond the Dietary Guidelines for Americans or MyPyramid, such as First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign.
- Compared to previous years, more Americans (approximately half) perceive their overall diet as “somewhat” healthful.
- Significantly fewer Americans are concerned with their weight status this year. Still, the majority of Americans (69 percent) are trying to lose or maintain their weight and cite these as strong factors influencing their decision to make dietary changes and remain physically active.
- Similar to last year, few Americans (9 percent) can accurately estimate the number of calories they should consume in a day for a person their age, height, weight, and physical activity.
- More Americans this year report that their physical activity levels are sedentary (43 percent) – a significant increase from 2010 (37 percent).
- Sixty-one percent of Americans believe that imported food is less safe than foods produced in the U.S., citing less regulation as the top reason.
- The initial benchmark Food and Health Survey was conducted in 2006 and subsequent trending Surveys were conducted in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011.
- All data for this study was collected over a two and a half-week period in April and May of 2011 via a web-based survey of 1,000 adults 18 years and older; the study population is nationally representative of the US population based on the U.S. Census.
Web cast Speaker Bios
Moderator: Eric Mittenthal, Director, Media Relations
Eric Mittenthal is the Director of Media Relations for the International Food Information Council Foundation, based in Washington, DC. Eric came to the Foundation following a career as a television reporter and producer in several markets around the country, most recently working for WAGA-TV, the Fox affiliate in Atlanta. Previously he also served as the Jacksonville Bureau Chief for WCTI-TV, the ABC affiliate in New Bern, NC and was a reporter for KIFI-TV, the ABC affiliate in Idaho Falls, ID.
Eric graduated from Cornell University in Ithaca, NY with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. He also received a Masters degree in Biomedical Sciences from Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, VA.
Speaker: Carrie Dooher, Director, Trends & Consumer Trends
Carrie C. Dooher is the Director of Trends and Consumer Insights for the International Food Information Council Foundation, based in Washington, D.C. Carrie coordinates and directs qualitative and quantitative consumer and health professional research projects, and shares consumer insights with key opinion leader groups and consumers through targeted distribution and educational programs, serving as an organizational spokesperson. She analyzes and articulates key food safety and nutrition information in the environment in order to increase the effectiveness of consumer messages.
Carrie received a dual degree in Sociology and Spanish from the University of Michigan, and her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center.
Speaker: Marianne Smith Edge, MS, RD, LD, FADA, Senior Vice President, Nutrition and Food Safety
Marianne Smith Edge, MS, RD, LD, FADA is the Senior Vice President for Nutrition & Food Safety for the International Food Information Council Foundation. Marianne has over twenty five years of experience in the healthcare and nutrition communications and marketing field. She is a past president of the American Dietetic Association and a member of the Institute of Food Technologists. Marianne currently serves on the USDA National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and Economics Advisory Board, the advisory board to the USDA Secretary of Agriculture.
Marianne received her B.S. in Dietetics from the University of Kentucky and a MS in Public Health-Nutrition from Western Kentucky University.
- Weight Management Resources
- Questions and Answers About the Dietary Guidelines For Americans
- Be Food Safe with Win: A Featurette on Food Safety (Video)
If you need additional information, a copy of the report, or would like to speak to someone in more detail regarding this survey, please contact Eric Mittenthal (Mittenthal@ific.org) or Jania Matthews (Matthews@ific.org) at 202-296-6540.