NEW YORK — Does living your best life simply cost too much money? Almost six in 10 Americans agree that being healthy is too expensive.
A new survey of 2,005 people finds 59 percent see the high cost of health and wellness as a major barrier to living a healthy lifestyle. It’s even more difficult for those who live in cities, with 68 percent of urban-dwellers saying the cost of staying healthy is too high.
Eating healthy is a low priority for many
Mental health tops the list, with 65 percent saying it’s very important — with “living in a safe environment” (also 65%) and “having good relationships with friends and family” (61%) following closely behind. Another 59 percent of all respondents say they exercise more than three times a week, suggesting that Americans are still at least trying to practice healthy habits despite the possibility of other systemic barriers.
“Eating healthy food,” though, is a priority for just 50 percent of respondents. Only 22 percent of those in the poll know of a nearby grocery store that sells affordable, good-quality fresh produce. For almost four in five (79%), the nearest grocery store is more than a mile from their home, with the average distance being 4.1 miles from their doors.
Instead, many resort to regularly eating fast food — just under three times a week on average, while another 24 percent say they indulge five or more times a week. The poll also finds 80 percent of respondents either suffer from or know someone with a health condition which doctors may attribute to their lifestyle, like type 2 diabetes or heart disease.
“We know firsthand the implications of diet-related illnesses and we’ve seen the impact they’ve had on our families,” says Kareem Cook, CMO and co-founder at Naturade, in a statement.
The motivation to change
It’s not all bad news when it comes to living healthy. Of the 1,604 respondents who either know someone with a lifestyle disease or suffer from one themselves, 70 percent say that learning about that diagnosis made them determined to focus more on their health. Common lifestyle changes included eating more fresh produce (67%), taking multivitamins (52%), and walking more (45%).
“It’s heartening to see Americans taking steps to improve their health and wellness,” adds Claude Tellis, CEO and co-founder at Naturade. “Another step you can take is kickstarting your day with something that tastes delicious and fills you up – two critical factors when it comes to making long-term health changes. By choosing a high-protein shake, you’re giving your body a low glycemic product that is diabetic friendly.”