NEW YORK — Two in three Americans credit the past two years with teaching them how important their health really is. That’s according to a poll of 2,000 U.S. adults over 30, where just as many say weight loss is a “top health goal” for them over the next year.

In fact, 71 percent believe the pandemic has taught them to be more observant of their health. Since the onset of the pandemic in March 2020, 64 percent admit their physical health was affected — half of all respondents add they’ve gained weight in the past two years. Of them, 52 percent gained between nine and 20 pounds.

Commissioned by Nutrisystem and conducted by OnePoll, the study asked respondents how their health habits and goals today compare to a pre-pandemic world.

Prior to March 2020, common health concerns included weight loss (33%), weight gain (33%), stress or burnout (31%), and mental health (27%). Now, stress, burnout (33%) and weight gain (31%) still bother a similar percentage of respondents.

Regardless, seven in 10 agree that they’ve become more aware of how they treat their body since the pandemic began.

2 in 3 want to lose weight to improve their health

With a newfound understanding of their health, 64 percent are motivated to lose weight because they know it has an impact on their immunity. About six in 10 (61%) also now realize that a healthy diet and lifestyle can better protect their long-term health.

Not only are respondents making positive changes for their health, they’re also keeping a positive attitude as 41 percent believe they can return to their pre-pandemic body.

“Taking care of ourselves, whether it be maintaining a healthy weight or losing weight, is so important to our overall health and the pandemic really brought this into focus,” says Courtney McCormick, corporate dietitian at Nutrisystem, in a statement. “However, so many of us still struggle to take that step toward a healthier lifestyle because it feels hard and unattainable. But the truth is, it doesn’t have to be.”

More than half of all respondents (52%) believe the pandemic has impacted their daily routine. Of those respondents, 58 percent admit their routine has been severely disrupted.

2023 is officially the post-pandemic era

However, change may be on the horizon, as 67 percent feel they’ll be able to return to their pre-pandemic routines in 2023. Almost three in five (59%) believe it will be easier to maintain their health and fitness in the next year compared to this year. So, it’s no surprise that 59 percent are focused on returning to maintaining physical fitness and activity.

More than half (52%) believe things have stabilized to a point where they can get back into a healthy state, and that 2023 will be an improvement on the past two years when it comes to health.

Seventy percent feel they have a better opportunity to focus on their health in the coming year, and 42 percent plan on making health their top priority. Other areas of focus include having a consistent eating schedule (55%) and spending less time indoors (45%).

“There is no one size fits all approach when it comes to health and wellness,” adds McCormick.

Survey methodology:

This random double-opt-in survey of 2,002 Americans aged 30+ was commissioned by Nutrisystem between September 16 and September 27, 2022. It was conducted by market research company OnePoll, whose team members 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).

About 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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