Black dieters watch their weight for general wellness
20th June 2011 · 1 Comment
CHICAGO – 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 percent of Black adults are dieting to lose weight, compared to 63 percent of White adults, 57 percent of Asian adults and 54 percent of Hispanic adults.
Moreover, 70 percent of Black adults who limit the amount and/or kind of food eaten say they’re doing so for general wellness and 46 percent 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 percent report that the challenge to find healthy options at restaurants is to blame and 26 percent 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-initem.”
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 percent) say they have a hard time sticking to a diet. Meanwhile, 60 percent say they would like to eat more healthy foods, but it’s just too expensive.
This article originally published in the June 20, 2011 print edition of The Louisiana Weekly newspaper.