Teen Health Perceptions Study
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American Teens Weigh in on What “Healthy” Means...

American Teens Weigh in on What “Healthy” Means
Nielsen Wire - August 24, 2009

In their heads, American teens know that leading a healthy lifestyle is important, but does that awareness always translate to a healthy body? According to a study from Scarborough Research, 92 percent percent of teens aged 13-17 say that health and a healthy lifestyle are important and when asked to give themselves a “health report card,” 76 percent of teens gave a grade of B- or higher.

Read the full article at http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/consumer/american-teens-weigh-in-on-what-healthy-means/

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Teen Health Perceptions Study Teen Health Perceptions Study Document Transcript

  • Teen Health Perceptions Study August 24, 2009 1
  • Table Of Contents Introduction page 3 The Healthy Lifestyle Report Card page 4 Healthy Lifestyles & The American Teen Page 5 Health Information Sources Page 13 Conclusion Page 16 Methodology, Background & Contacts page 17 2
  • Introduction What does it mean to be “healthy”? Scarborough Research posed this question to teens via the Scarborough Kids Internet Panel (S.K.I.P.). In this customized, teen-focused study, we set out to learn more about teen ( ) , y, health perceptions and to examine their habits and lifestyles. The pages of this study paint a picture which shows that today’s teenager is very aware of what it means to be “healthy.” In fact, 92% of teens say health/healthy lifestyle is “extremely or somewhat important” in their lives. Further, teens are garnering health information from a variety of sources. Even in the social networking age, teens are still turning to their parents and teachers for information. Companies targeting the teen market can utilize the information from this report to: • Better understand the health consciousness of the American teen, and the gatekeepers of teen perceptions • Fine-tune marketing efforts targeting teens, including social and search marketing The data in this report is based on an Internet panel of teen consumers (ages 13-17). This complimentary study features select findings. More in-depth information is available in the full study, including: • Insights on teen consumer brand preferences, including teen perceptions on healthy vs. unhealthy brands • Multicultural information detailing how teen preferences and perceptions vary based on race and ethnicity • Channel marketing data including information on effective ways for reaching teens with health data, information • More insights overall teen health, from vitamin usage to in-depth exercise profiles See page 17 for more details on study methodology. The full study and customized data reports are available for purchase from Scarborough Stat Shop. Please contact Julie O’Donnell at jodonnell@scarborough.com or 678-455-6213 for more information. Members of the press, please contact Allyson Mongrain at amongrain@scarborough.com or 703-451-3174. 3
  • Part 2: The Healthy Lifestyle Report Card The Vast Majority of Teens Give Themselves Good Health Grades; Teens Feel Nutrition and Exercise are the Two Pillars of a Healthy Lifestyle Seventy-six Seventy six percent of teens give themselves a grade B or higher on their healthy report card. B- card The median health grade teens was a B+. Overall, boys give themselves a better healthy lifestyle grade than do girls, and 13-15 year olds give themselves a better grade than 16-17 year olds. There is a positive correlation between grade and importance—as the importance of healthy lifestyle increases, so do grades. HEALTHY LIFESTYLE REPORT CARD A+ / A / A- .............. 33% B+ / B / B- .............. 43% C+ / C / C- .............. 18% D+ / D / D- ................ 5% F ........................................ 1% “While this self-awareness of how they rate their healthy living seems to contradict statistics on child and teen obesity published by the CDC and other agencies, it shows that there is a foundation or predisposition for turning awareness into actual healthy lifestyle patterns,” said Mr. Seraita. Nutrition and Exercise: The two pillars of healthy living Almost all teens (92%) say having a healthy lifestyle is important, and they consider exercise and nutrition to be two key fundamentals of healthy behavior. When it comes to being healthy and having a healthy lifestyle, which 40 of these do you think is most important? (%) 35 38% 30 25 32% Percent 20 15 10 14% 5 2% 8% 7% 0 What you eat Exercise Your weight Regular check-up Getting enough Mental/spiritual at the doctor’s sleep activities, like meditation/yoga 4
  • Part 3: Healthy Lifestyles & The American Teen Diet: Teens Say Eating Right is Important A well-balanced and healthy diet is important to teens. The vast majority not only claim to eat well, but also to discuss nutrition at home. A majority (64%) report cutting back on the amount of fast food they are eating and more than half (57%) say they would eat more healthy food if it were eating, not so expensive. % “Agree or Strongly Agree” with the Following Statements on Nutrition Statement % Agree/Strongly Agree Eating healthy food is important to me. g y p 76% I usually try to eat balanced, healthy meals. 69% I have discussed healthy eating and nutrition with my family. 69% I have a healthy diet. 64% I’ve cut back on the amount of fast food I eat. 64% I would eat more healthy foods if they weren t so expensive. I would eat more healthy foods if they weren’t so expensive 57% I pay a lot of attention to the quality and nutritional value of the foods I eat. 54% I would eat a healthier diet if my mom would prepare it for me. 54% I’m very careful about the foods I eat. 51% I need to change my eating habits. 48% Diet and nutrition are not things you need to think about when you are young. 32% Eating healthy food is not that important to me. 29% I never talk about healthy eating and nutrition with my family. 26% 5
  • Part 3: Healthy Lifestyles & The American Teen The S.K.I.P survey Examined Teen opinions on different Types of foods . to determine which food is perceived as healthy and which food is not. Teens indicated: ● Fresh fruit, raw vegetables and salad are most healthy. ● Candy, soda and salty snacks are least healthy. ● Bottled water is perceived as healthy—nearly as healthy as fresh fruit. ● Sports drinks are perceived as significantly less healthy than bottled water. ● Energy bars are not perceived as healthy. ● Energy drinks are perceived as nearly as unhealthy as soda . “On a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 means “not at all healthy” and 5 means “extremely healthy,” please rate how healthy you think the following foods are:” Fresh fruit Raw vegetables Salad Bottled water Cooked vegetables Yogurt Nuts Soy Juice Granola bars Energy bars (such as Balance Bars) Sports drinks ( p (such as Gatorade) ) Juice drinks (such as Kool-Aid) Coffee/tea Energy drinks (such as Red Bull) Sweet snacks Salty snacks Soda/pop Candy -2.0 -1.5 -1.0 -0.5 0.0 0.5 1.0 1.5 “Healthy” Index Score 6
  • Part 3: Healthy Lifestyles & The American Teen We also asked teens how frequently they consume different types of foods, and correlated this with their healthy perception. The chart below shows the degree to which perceived healthiness of a food correlates with the frequency which teens consume it. Healthy Food Perceptions: Healthy Foods and Frequency of Consumption UPPER UPPER LEFT RIGHT 2.00 1.50 1.00 “Healthy” Index Score 0.50 S 0.00 -0.50 -1.00 -1.50 -2.00 LOWER LOWER LEFT RIGHT -2.00 -1.50 -1.00 -0.50 0.00 0.50 1.00 1.50 2.00 Consumption Frequency HOW TO READ: Upper right—healthy and frequently eaten Upper left—healthy and infrequently eaten: ● Bottled water ● Soy ● Fresh fruit ● Granola bars ● Cooked vegetables Lower left—not healthy and infrequently eaten: left not ● Salad, etc. ● Energy drinks Lower right—not healthy and frequently eaten: ● Candy ● Salty snacks ● Coffee ● Sweet snacks ● Sports drinks ● Soda ● Energy bars 7
  • Part 3: Healthy Lifestyles & The American Teen Exercise: Teens Perceive Themselves as Physically Fit Exercise, the other “pillar” of living a healthy lifestyle, was also examined. The S.K.I.P. survey asked teen respondents to provide details on their exercise habits. The majority (69%) feel they are physically fit. However, more than half strongly feel they need more exercise. And, when asked why they are not exercising as much as they should, the most common reasons given by teens are "too lazy" or "no time." In examining gender differences, boys are slightly more likely to exercise a couple of times a week than girls (50% vs. 48% respectively). Close to half (45%) of girls feel they are getting less exercise than they should, versus 32% of boys. % “Agree or Strongly Agree” with the Following Statements on Exercise Statement % Agree/Strongly Agree I am physically fit. 69% I exercise regularly. I exercise regularly 68% I need to get more exercise. 53% I never exercise. 20% How often would you say you exercise? (%) 50 45 49% 40 35 Percent 30 25 30% 20 15 10 3% 5 11% 7% 0 Every day A couple of times a Less than once a Almost never Never week week 8
  • Part 3: Healthy Lifestyles & The American Teen How much exercise are you getting? (%) 60 50 54% 40 38% ent 30 Perce 20 10 8% 0 Getting less exercise Getting the right amount Getting more exercise than h ld th I should of exercise f i than h ld th I should What is the main reason you do not get as much exercise as you think you should? (%) (Base =Teens who indicate they get less exercise than they should") Too lazy 60% No one to exercise with 27% No time 23% No where to go to exercise 22% Too expensive 10% Not healthy enough 6% Other 4% 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 Percent 9
  • Part 3: Healthy Lifestyles & The American Teen School and Exercise Physical education (PE) classes are important to teen health perceptions. Teens who do not have a regular PE class in school are more likely to give themselves a health grade of a D or F than those who d Thi i especially th case f girls. f th th h do. This is i ll the for i l Do you take regular PE (physical education) or gym class at school? No 30% Yes 70% Lifestyles/Activities and Exercise We presented respondents with a list of 61 activities and asked them to indicate all the ones they had engaged in during the past year On the next two pages you will find the results Teens engaged in on year. results. in, average, 10 of the 61 activities. A teen’s Healthy Lifestyle Grade is significantly correlated with the number of activities they engage in—as grade improves, the average number of activities increases. Playing video games, hanging out or chatting with friends and playing basketball are the most frequent activities. 10
  • Part 3: Healthy Lifestyles & The American Teen What activities do teens engage in? Played a video game 53% Hang out with friends 52% Chat online with friends 42% Basketball 36% Art/drawing/painting 35% Bowling 33% Swimming S i i 33% % Attended a live concert 32% Biking 31% Attended a live sporting event 30% Dance 28% Watch sports on TV 28% Camping 27% Baseball/softball 25% Gym or health club 21% Fishing 21% Organized sports team 21% Running/jogging 20% Football 20% Aerobics 20% Volunteer work 18% Photography 18% Musical instrument/in a band 16% Free weights/circuit training 16% Billiards/pool 15% Sing/chorus 15% Soccer 14% Volleyball 14% 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 Percent 11
  • Part 3: Healthy Lifestyles & The American Teen What activities do teens engage in? (cont’d) Hiking/backpacking 12% Tennis 12% Boating 12% Yoga/Pilates/aerobics 12% Extreme sports 11% Gardening 10% Table tennis 10% Ice skating 10% Drama 9% Canoeing/kayaking 9% In-line skating 9% Golf 8% Snowboarding 8% Gymnastics G ti 8% Boy scouts/Girl scouts 7% Hunting 7% Martial arts 7% Automobile racing 7% BMX biking 7% Horseback riding 7% Wrestling 5% Boxing B i 5% Water Skiing 4% Shooting/skeet 4% Surfing 4% Snowmobiling 4% None of these 4% Ice Hockey 4% Lacrosse 3% Racquetball/squash 3% Scuba diving 2% Windsurfing 2% Motorcycle racing 2% Rugby 2% 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 Percent 12
  • Part 4: Health Information Sources Teens Acquire Health Information from Parents and the Internet The two best channels for reaching teens with health information are their parents and the Internet. Sixty-three percent of teens said that when they have q y p y questions about health and nutrition, they go to , yg their parents/guardians for information. One-half (50%) turn to the Internet. Girls are more likely than boys to use either source. Sources for Health/Nutrition Information 70 60 63% 50 Percent 40 50% 30 20 28% 28% 22% Less than 10 19% 1% 13% 0 Parents / Internet Doctor/Nurse Teacher/Coach Friends Health Magazine Sibling Other Guardians When teens reach the age of 16 the Internet trumps parents as the source for health information Fifty eight percent 16, information. Fifty-eight of teens ages 16 and up go online for health information, versus 45% of those ages 15 and under. “Independence is often considered the hallmark of the American teenager, but we can see that teens in fact need and rely upon their parents for health information,” said Mr. Seraita. “Healthcare social marketing efforts to reach teens might have a greater impact if parents are also targeted.” 13
  • Part 4: Health Information Sources Online Sources for Teen Health Information Teens were asked how frequently they utilize specific Internet functions to obtain health information or engage with online health content. Obtaining sports tips/advice and utilizing search engines for health information are their top two Internet uses uses. Teens' Online Sources for Health Information How Often Do You… Frequently Occasionally Rarely Never Use the Internet to find tips/advice about sports? 16% 40% 18% 27% Search for information about health/nutrition with a 20% search engine like Google? 14% 42% 24% Visited a health site like WebMD, MayoClinic.com or Familydoctor.org? 12% 36% 21% 31% Discuss health or nutrition with people on websites 12% 28% 19% 41% like Myspace or Facebook? Read health/nutrition related blogs? 10% 37% 20% 34% Forward information about health/nutrition you find on 21% 8% 29% 41% the Internet to other people? Participate in discussions on health/nutrition bulletin boards? 8% 27% 19% 46% Download or listen to a health/nutrition related podcasts ? 8% 26% 19% 48% Teens are utilizing search engines to find health info online “Teens are considered to be at the forefront of social networking, but, when it comes to seeking health information, we can see the power of search outweighs that of social networking. However, with half of all teens going to the Internet for health information, marketers must create a comprehensive and diversified online marketing plan – otherwise they will miss reaching half of their target audience,” said Mr. Seraita. 14
  • Part 4: Health Information Sources The Influence of the Internet on Buying Health/Athletic Items The Internet plays an important role when teens are making buying decisions regarding health items such as vitamins, nutritional supplements and sports equipment. Fifty-six percent say “very informative ebsite” “very somewhat sa a “ er informati e website” is “ er or some hat important” when it comes to making a health hen health- related product purchase. Forty-six percent cite “recommendation from websites like WebMD or MayoClinic.com.” The influence of the adult is prevalent here as well, with 54% of teens saying their coach’s recommendation is “very or somewhat important “to their buying decisions. When it comes to buying health related products such as vitamins, nutritional supplements and sports equipment, how important is… (% very/somewhat) pp p q p , p ( y ) Very informative website 56% Coach recommendation 54% Recommendation from websites like WebMD or 46% MayoClinic.com Endorsed by athletes 39% Advertising in sports magazines 38% Recommendation by people on bulletin boards or social 38% network websites I visited Advertising on my favorite sports shows 34% 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 % Very/Somewhat Important 15
  • Part 5: CONCLUSION The fight against childhood obesity has parallels to the battle waged against smoking. Purveyors of unhealthy food and products have been characterized by some as “the new tobacco” by social activist groups concerned about growing obesity rates among young people The difference? The war on tobacco was waged against one core product whereas people. product, “obesity” crosses a greater diversity of businesses. In this environment, being thought of as “healthy,” particularly among young consumers, is an important aspect when creating and maintaining a brand with a socially responsible reputation. And, in an Internet age, with children on the forefront of information sharing via social networking, a good reputation goes an even longer way. This Scarborough Kids Internet Panel (S.K.I.P.) study shows that teens place stock in healthy activities and nutrition as part of their lifestyle. Given that many of today’s teen consumers are trendsetters, marketers can take advantage in establishing a persona now that could lead to lifetime loyal customers. All of this said, the data in this S.K.I.P. study points to a simple, common truth: marketing matters, especially in today’s economic environment. The American teenager understands what it means to live a healthy lifestyle. Marketers can help activate this understanding into actual lifestyle patterns. Whether you are sponsoring a local sports team, offering product samples at school games, or developing sponsored health curriculum, marketers should seek to activate healthy behaviors. Further, parents and other adults, such as teachers and coaches, are key health information gatekeepers for teens. The Internet is also a key channel for teen health information. Search marketing and social marketing are essential to any teen targeting strategy. This report reflects summary findings of the S.K.I.P. Teen Health Perceptions Study. For more information, please contact: Julie O’Donnell 678-455-6213 jodonnell@scarborough.com Members of the press: Allyson Mongrain 703-451-3174 amongrain@scarborough.com 16
  • Part 5: Study Methodology, Background & CONTACTS STUDY METHODOLOGY: This S.K.I.P. Teen Health Perceptions Study was fielded via an Internet panel from December 30, 2008 through January 10, 2009, and covered health-related topics. The panel included 1,800 respondents between the ages of 13 and 17. About S.K.I.P. The Scarborough Kids Internet Panel helps marketers to improve targeting activities, benchmark brand awareness, create media and marketing strategies for optimum impact and measure customer satisfaction among kids, teens and their parents. Through a customized survey of kids ages 6-17, marketers can better understand the perspective, brand preferences or attitudes of youth customers. Additionally, one of the primary benefits of Scarborough’s youth panel is the ability to also survey parents. The S.K.I.P has a high- quality sample that uses a variety of techniques to help insure valid research insights. It is fully compliant with lit l th t i t ft h i t h l i lid h i i ht i f ll li t ith the Children’s Online Privacy Policy Protection Act (COPPA). Please visit www.scarborough.com/skip.htm to learn more about this Scarborough Research service. About Scarborough Research Scarborough Research (www.scarborough.com, info@scarborough.com) measures the lifestyle and shopping patterns, media behaviors and demographics of American consumers, and is considered the authority on local market research. S Scarborough’s core syndicated consumer insight studies in 81 Top-Tier ’ Markets, its Multi-Market Study and its national USA+ Study are Media Rating Council (MRC) accredited. Other products and services include Scarborough Mid-Tier Local Market Studies, Hispanic Studies and Custom Research Solutions. Scarborough measures 2,000 consumer categories and serves a broad client base that includes marketers, advertising agencies, print and electronic media (broadcast and cable television, radio stations), sports teams and leagues and out-of-home media companies. Surveying more than 220,000 adults annually, Scarborough is a joint venture between Arbitron Inc. (www.arbitron.com) and The Nielsen Company (www.nielsen.com). ABOUT STEVE SERAITA Steve Seraita has a decades-long career in consumer and media research. As Executive Vice President at Scarborough Research, he oversees service and sales for the company’s diverse client base – from Fortune 1000 marketers, advertising agencies, and sports marketers to local, regional and national media companies. A known figure in the media research industry, Steve’s analyses and g y y presentations have been published internationally. During his tenure at Scarborough, he has helped grow the company to include a diverse product offering that helps those involved in the planning, buying and selling of media, as well as those who market consumer products, achieve their business objectives. sseraita@scarborough.com CONTACTS: Members of the Press: All other inquiries: Allyson Mongrain Julie O’Donnell amongrain@scarborough.com jodonnell@scarborough.com 703-451-3174 678-455-6213 17