Inflation priorities: 8 in 10 Americans have cut spending — but not on their health

NEW YORK — Eight in 10 people have cut down on their general spending within the last six months (81%). A poll of 2,000 U.S. adults reports that three in four have been affected by inflation, with those feeling the financial strain reducing their spending on shopping (70%), entertainment (59%), and food (58%) the most.

However, 70 percent aren’t letting their health falter, with people sharing that the top area they wouldn’t cut down spending on is their health and wellness (44%). Fifty-five percent would spend any amount of money on their health, estimating that that’s where they spend a third of their budget including on expenses like healthy food, supplements, and mental health care.

Most respondents emphasize that it’s important to prioritize spending time and money on your health above other areas in life (69%) and are doing so by cooking at home more (61%), staying home more in general (59%), and practicing good spending habits (50%).

Commissioned by Medifast and conducted by OnePoll, the survey finds that 60 percent of respondents say the pandemic encouraged them to rearrange their priorities in life and a similar percentage believe the experience has also made them value their health more than they did before (63%).

People have been inspired to take care of themselves, averaging about 200 steps more per day now than prior to the pandemic.

A resolution to stay healthy in 2023

Respondents plan on carrying these habits into 2023 by focusing less on entertainment (39%) and traveling (37%). Next year, Americans are putting themselves first with more time spent on their health (57%) and hobbies (34%).

Similarly, half of those surveyed are going to spend more of their budget on their health and well-being in 2023 (49%), cutting down even more on dining out (46%) and their social life (40%). Respondents also plan to invest more money into their education (27%) and hobbies that make them happy (26%).

As 2022 comes to a close, Americans are also looking to make big changes to their daily life in the new year. Over half (57%) say one of their biggest goals is to get between seven to nine hours of sleep every night, with 51 percent saying they’d like to get outside more.

Another 51 percent say they plan on implementing more walks into their day-to-day routine and including some more nutritious food in their diet.

“Despite the challenging moments the world has faced over the past couple of years, it is no surprise that people are motivated to invest their time and resources into prioritizing their health and wellbeing,” says Dan Chard, chairman and CEO of Medifast, in a statement. “Consumer focus and awareness around health is stronger than ever and will remain important as we enter the new year. Taking a unique approach to health and wellness, like working with a dedicated coach and community and focusing on practicing healthy habits, can help those looking for a different way to tackle their goals.”

Mental health is a 2023 priority as well

It’s not just physical health — many respondents plan on taking better care of themselves mentally.

Americans know that being healthy isn’t all about food and nutrition, citing that sleep (72%), exercise (68%), and mental health (65%) also contribute to their overall health. Most even find that their sleep has a significant impact on their daily life too, from work to caring for their family (63%).

“As we head into the holidays, it is common for people to use this time as an opportunity to set lofty health and wellness goals. However, we know big, audacious new year resolutions are rarely adopted for the long-term. Instead, try incorporating small, healthy habits that can be gradually added to your daily life, ultimately helping to create a foundation for lasting success,” adds Satya Jonnalagadda, Ph.D., MBA, RDN, vice president of scientific and clinical affairs at Medifast.

Survey methodology:

This random double-opt-in online survey of 2,000 nationally representative U.S. Adults was commissioned by Medifast and conducted by a market research company, OnePoll, between October 20 and October 24, 2022. All participants are paid an amount depending on the length and complexity of the survey. The survey was overseen and edited by the OnePoll research team, who are members of the Market Research Society and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).

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About the Author

Chris Melore

Chris Melore has been a writer, researcher, editor, and producer in the New York-area since 2006. He won a local Emmy award for his work in sports television in 2011.

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