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Truven Health Analytics-NPR Health Poll: Forty-One Percent of Americans Believe their Diet is Healthy, While Twenty-Five Percent Say Theirs is Fair or Poor

Thirty-Five Percent of Americans Confused about Which Kinds of Oils and Fats are Healthy

Ann Arbor, MI, Aug. 09, 2016 — Four out of every 10 Americans consider their eating habits to be very good or excellent, while one quarter said their diets were fair or poor, according to the Truven Health Analytics-NPR Health Poll.

Truven Health Analytics™, an IBM company, and NPR conduct a bimonthly poll to gauge attitudes and opinions on a wide range of health issues.

In January 2016, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Agriculture updated the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, including removal of the previous limitation on dietary cholesterol. The latest survey asked respondents for their awareness of the guidelines and their opinions about and personal experience with their diet.

Overall, 41 percent of respondents said they considered their eating habits to be either very good or excellent. Twenty-five percent (one quarter) said their diet was either fair or poor.
Image Text When asked about the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, just 26 percent were aware of the change in the dietary cholesterol recommendation. Thirty-five percent said they were confused about what kinds of oils and fats to consume for a healthy diet, a rate that tends to decrease with increasing age, level of education, and level of income. Image Text Image Text Of respondents who were aware of the new guidelines, 22 percent said they were eating more foods that are high in animal fat, while 14 percent they are eating less of such foods. Additionally, 27 percent of all respondents said they are eating more whole grains than they were six months ago, 11 percent said they are eating less, and 62 percent said there has been no change. Image Text “In addition to a distinct lack of awareness about the latest dietary recommendations, these results indicate some confusion when it comes to dietary choices, ” said Michael Taylor, M.D., chief medical officer at Truven Health Analytics. “Approximately 70 percent of Americans are overweight or obese according to the Centers for Disease Control, yet our survey shows that 41 percent of Americans say their diets are good. We appear to be seeing a disconnect between perception and reality when it comes to healthy eating.”

To date, the Truven Health Analytics-NPR Health Poll has explored numerous health topics, including generic drugs, vaccines, data privacy, narcotic painkillers and sports-related concussions. NPR archives reports on the surveys online at the Shots health blog here.

Truven Health maintains a library of poll results here.

The Truven Health Analytics-NPR Health Poll is powered by the Truven Health PULSE® survey, the nation’s largest and longest-running independently funded, nationally representative multi-modal poll that collects information about health-related behaviors and attitudes and healthcare use from 80, 000 U.S. households annually. Survey questions are developed in conjunction with NPR. The figures in this month's poll are based on 3, 007 participants interviewed from May1-14, 2016.

About Truven Health Analytics, part of the IBM Watson Health Business

Truven Health Analytics®, part of the IBM Watson Health™ business, provides market-leading performance improvement solutions built on data integrity, advanced analytics and domain expertise. For more than 40 years, our insights and solutions have been providing hospitals and clinicians, employers and health plans, state and federal government agencies, life sciences companies and policymakers, the facts they need to make confident decisions that directly affect the health and well-being of people and organizations in the US and around the world. The company was acquired by IBM in 2016 to help form a new business, Watson Health. Watson Health aspires to improve lives and give hope by delivering innovation to address the world’s most pressing health challenges through data and cognitive insights.

Truven Health Analytics owns some of the most trusted brands in healthcare, such as MarketScan®, 100 Top Hospitals®, Advantage Suite®, Micromedex®, Simpler® and ActionOI®. Truven Health has its principal offices in Ann Arbor, MI, Chicago, IL, and Denver, CO.


Ariana Nikitas, Ariana.nikitas@truvenhealth.com, 312.533.3437
Brian Erni, J. Roderick, Inc. Public Relations, brian@jroderick.com, 631.584.2200