Fewer Australians concerned with cholesterol, Roy Morgan Research

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 6th October 2014
Fewer Australians concerned with cholesterol, Roy Morgan Research
Fewer Australians concerned with cholesterol, Roy Morgan Research

Australians are today less concerned with their cholesterol levels and more likely to try to eat less fat and additives, according to findings from market research organisation Roy Morgan Research.

In the year to June 2010, more Australians aged 14 years or older agreed they were “concerned about my cholesterol level” (38.3 per cent) than agreed that “a low fat diet is a way of life for me” (34.8 per cent). However, since then concern for cholesterol levels has dropped over 4 per cent points to 34.1 per cent in the year to June 2014, while the proportion living a low fat life now sits higher at 35 per cent.

During the period, the proportion of Australians who agree that they “try to buy additive free food” has grown steadily from 45.6 per cent to 48.4 per cent, according to Roy Morgan Research.

“Australians are clearly becoming more mindful of what they put in their mouths, with an increasing number choosing to avoid foods with excessive fat content or additives,” said Norman Morris, Industry Communications Director, Roy Morgan Research. “We would therefore hope that the decreasing national concern with cholesterol is indeed a consequence of such dietary changes rather than a tendency toward apathy,” he said.

Gender divide

Roy Morgan Research found that men trailed behind women when it came to trying to reduce intake of fat and additives. But men were more likely to be concerned about their cholesterol levels.

In the year to June 2014, well over half of women said they try to buy additive free food (55.3 per cent)—14 per cent points clear of men (41.3 per cent). Nearly four in ten (38.9 per cent) of women said they ate low fat foods, compared with just 31 per cent of men.

This difference meant Australian men were over 17 per cent more likely than women to be concerned about their cholesterol levels, with 36.8 per cent agreeing compared with 31.4 per cent of women.

Mr Morris said that over the past five years, Roy Morgan Research’s Single Source survey had collected the personal attitudes of almost 100,000 Australians aged 14 years and older about “everything from governmental policy to shopping preferences, eating habits, finance, travel, health, technology, and advertising”.

“Whether trended over time or broken down into demographic segments, these attitudes can provide businesses with valuable insights into the core beliefs that drive behaviour,” Mr Morris said.