By: Nikki Nies
Food Insights shares reports on the results from six focus groups, composed of millennials, which are those persons born between 1980-2000, regarding their perception on nutrition and its impact on eating habits. The good news: most millennials the importance of good nutrition. The bad news: many millennials do not always eat the way they know they should or like. Many millennials thankfully perceive a healthy meal composed of lean meat, fruits, vegetables or a salad. However, many millennials’ plates do not reflect these healthy foods, instead many plates have fried foods, red meats with little to no vegetables or whole grains.
What are the challenges millennials face on a daily basis:
Lack of time–easier to opt for “convenience” foods that are transportable with little to no preparation needed
- Due to strong perception that eating healthy is expensive, many just opt for $1 and/or premade convenience foods–see eating fast food as an easier, less expensive way to get full quicker
- Dining out with friends, family and colleagues is a vital part of millennials’ social activities–more likely to overeat and/or overindulge when out
- Hard time exerting will power over temptations in the afternoon and late night
- Many primary care physicians do not discuss complications and/or risks associated with excess weight or being overweight
- Often skip breakfast
- Unsure of how to apply health tips into their day to day lives
- Lack of meal planning–not considered a priority
- Lack of willpower–susceptible to emotional eating triggers and/or stress eating
- Hard time keeping portion sizes in mind
- Find it challenging to find health menu options. Thankfully, Healthy Dining Finder can help guide millennials into a more healthy direction!
With millennials making up 25% of the American population and the future of the America, we need to make more of an effort to debunk the myth that eating well is “hard” or has to be “costly.”
On average, many millennials give themselves a C+ in healthfulness. At least millennials are honest with their opinions. Yet, we shouldn’t stop there. Now, that we have a better understanding of the disparity between what millennials know what they should eat in comparison to the reality of the eating habits, we can better direct our nutrition interventions to their habits. Do you work with millenials within your practice? What challenges have you had trying to encourage healthier eating habits? Or are you a millenial yourself and find yourself starting health goals in the beginning of the day, yet releasing yourself of those health changes by the end of the same day? How can RDs help you best overcome those challenges?