Nutritional Outlook

Nutritional Outlook, December 2016

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News ■ NUTRITIONAL OUTLOOK 10 December 2016 Energy Is Number-Two Priority among Supplement Users, 2016 CRN Survey Suggests Te Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN; Washington, DC) recently released the results of its 2016 Consumer Survey on Dietary Supplements, which indicate that supplement usage is rising. According to the latest survey, 71% of U.S. adults—or 170 million Americans—took supplements in 2016, a slight increase from the 68% of U.S. adults surveyed in 2015 who reported taking supplements. And it's not the only striking fnding from the 2016 data. One of the most surprising results has to do with the top rea- sons supplement users cite for purchasing supplements. In years past, the top three reasons given for supplement use among supplement us- ers were "overall health and wellness ben- efts," "to fll nutrient gaps in my diet," and "energy," in that order. But in 2016, "energy" moved ahead as a reason. It was ranked as a top motivating factor by 30% of supple- ment users, placing it in the number-two spot ahead of "to fll nutrient gaps in my diet" (28%). "Overall health and wellness benefts" still remained the number-one reason, with 42% ranking it as a reason for supplement use. And while it's too early to say whether the surge of interest in "energy" as a motiva- tor is a trend, it may be refective of other demographic shifts taking place within the supplement user base, pointed out Nancy Weindruch, CRN's senior director of commu- nications, who shared the 2016 survey results at the association's annual conference this fall in Dana Point, CA. "What's interesting about energy is that's actually the number-one reason why Ameri- cans between the ages of 18 and 34" take supplements, Weindruch said. According to the 2016 survey, this younger group of con- sumers (the millennials) also increased their supplement usage, which may correlate with the increased weight of priorities like "ener- gy" in the survey overall. Notably, 70% of millennials said they used supplements in 2016, compared to the 65% of millennials who reported taking supple- ments last year. "It is exciting to see the growth in supplement usage among younger adults, especially after our 2015 survey indi- cated that increased usage should be antici- pated among those aged 18 to 34 over the next fve years," said Judy Blatman, CRN's senior vice president of communications, in the survey announcement. Te survey also showed a boost in usage among adults aged 35–54 (70% in 2016 ver- sus 68% in 2015), while adults aged 55 and over remained the most avid supplement us- ers at 74%. Confdence, Trust, and Categories Overall confdence in the safety, quality, and efectiveness of dietary supplements held steady at 85% in the 2016 survey. Tere were some shifts in more specifc markers of confdence. Te percentage of U.S. adults who said they were "very conf- dent" in the safety, quality, and efectiveness of dietary supplements rose 7% over last year to hit 41% in 2016. Te percentage of respondents who said they were "somewhat confdent" decreased to 44%. On the low end, those who said they were "not too confdent" or "not at all confdent" held relatively steady at 10% and 4%, respectively. In terms of particular supplement catego- ries, the CRN survey suggests Americans have the most confdence in vitamins/minerals (86%), specialty supplements (66%), herbals/ botanicals (63%), and sports nutrition/weight management (53%). While all of these catego- ries saw confdence increase over 2015, statisti- cally signifcant increases occurred in specialty supplements and sports nutrition/weight management, Weindruch noted. Te CRN survey also posed a new ques- tion to survey respondents in 2016: "To what extent do you perceive the dietary supple- ment industry as being trustworthy?" Over- all, 73% of respondents said they perceive the industry as "very trustworthy" or "somewhat trustworthy." Turning to the most popular supple- ment categories, multivitamins remained the most popular supplement, with 53% of Americans taking multivitamins, accord- ing to the survey. However, the percentage of Americans taking only a multivitamin dropped slightly in 2016, while the percent- age of Americans taking a variety of supple- ments increased. Te next most popular supplements were vitamin D (26%), vitamin C (25%), calcium (21%), vitamin B/B complex (17%), omega-3/ fatty acids (14%), vitamin E (11%), fber, (11%), protein (11%), green tea (10%), mag- nesium (10%), and probiotics (9%). Te 2016 CRN Consumer Survey on Di- etary Supplements was conducted by Ipsos Public Afairs from August 24–30, 2016. It in- cluded a national sample of 2007 adults aged 18 and older, and the sample was weighted to refect the overall U.S. population accord- ing to Census data. Additional survey fnd- ings will be released throughout the next year, according to CRN. It's also worth noting that the 71% of U.S. adults who reported using supplements in the survey includes regular users, occasional users, and seasonal users. Within that group, 54% of U.S. adults reported taking some type of supplement regularly. Stay informed! See the latest news at

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