Agricultural Economics Department


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.


Pre-print of subsequently revised and accepted article


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.