Black dieters watch their weight for general wellness – not to lose pounds

June 5, 2011

Chicago (June 6, 2011) – Whether it’s a suggestion from our physician or a need to slim down, almost everyone experiences the desire to exercise more or eat healthier at some point in our lives. According to the latest research from Mintel, more Black adults who are watching their diet are doing so for health reasons, not to lose weight. In fact, 56% of Black adults are dieting to lose weight, compared to 63% of White adults, 57% of Asian adults and 54% of Hispanic adults.

Moreover, 70% of Black adults who limit the amount and/or kind of food eaten say they’re doing so for general wellness and 46% say they’re watching their diet to maintain their current weight. Fifty-two percent are eating healthier to prevent or control high blood pressure.

“Black adults are concerned with controlling cholesterol, blood sugar levels, hypertension, salt intake and other health-related issues,”says Leylha Ahuile, senior multicultural analyst. “This demographic needs effective, targeted solutions that can help them reach their weight-loss goals rather than information that focuses on appearance, which may not speak to their concerns – as dieting simply to be thinner isn’t as important. “

Twenty-six percent of respondents who are cutting back on the amount or kind of food they consume say boredom with the”good”food they are noshing makes it difficult to curb their eating habits. Additionally, 35% report that the challenge to find healthy options at restaurants is to blame and 26% say hunger pangs test their willpower to eat better.

“Marketers should emphasize elements of delicious taste to make healthier products more appealing to Black consumers,” adds Leylha Ahuile. “For example, emphasizing the ‘creamy taste’ of a low-fat item or the fact that it’s ‘less greasy’ compared to a full-fat item may help Black consumers focus on attributes other than delicious taste, and create interest in trying a low-in item. “

Forty-two percent of Black adults who limit the amount and/or kind of food they eat believe that most diets don’t work and nearly half (49%) say they have a hard time sticking to a diet. Meanwhile, 60% say they would like to eat more healthy foods, but it’s just too expensive.

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