Agricultural Economics Department
Consideration of Nutrients of Public Health Concern Highlighted in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025 among a Large Sample of US Primary Shoppers
Date of this Version
Gustafson, Christopher R., and Devin J. Rose. "Consideration of nutrients of public health concern highlighted in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020–2025 among a large sample of US primary shoppers." Appetite (2022): 106399.
The objective of this research is to estimate the proportion of consumers who consider nutrients identified in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025 (DGA) as being of public health concern during food choice using a large, population-weighted sample of U.S. residents. A question was included in a bi-monthly survey of consumer scanner panel members, asking whether respondents considered each of eight nutrients in a check-all-that-apply format. Four of these nutrients are under-consumed nutrients, while three are nutrients to avoid. Calories was additionally included, as over-consumption of calories causes weight gain. Weighted mean proportions and 95% confidence intervals were estimated. The survey was administered to a population-weighted sample of 42,018 US consumers participating in a consumer scanner panel in May-June 2021 by an online survey firm that maintains the consumer panel. Over one-quarter of respondents considered none of the nutrients. Each under-consumed nutrient of public health concern was considered by less than 30% of respondents, ranging from a low of 14.5% for potassium (95%CI=14.3-14.7%) to a high of 28.9% for dietary fiber (95%CI=28.7-29.1%). Nutrients to be avoided were considered by higher percentages of the sample, ranging from 31.8% for saturated fats (95%CI=31.6-32.0%) to 46.1% for added sugars (95%CI=45.8-46.3%). Respondents considered an average of just over 2.4 total nutrients, with a greater focus on nutrients to avoid, including calories (weighted mean=1.55), than under-consumed nutrients (weighted mean=0.89). Over one-quarter of consumers considered no nutrients of public health concern. Consumers focused more on nutrients to avoid rather than under-consumed nutrients. Promoting increased awareness of important under-consumed nutrients may improve public health.
Pre-print of subsequently revised and accepted article