WASHINGTON & ATLANTA (May 3, 2017) — World-leading analytics and advice firm, Gallup, and Sharecare, the digital health company helping people manage all their health in one place, have released new research that finds those who report they ate healthy all day the previous day have lower disease burden for major chronic conditions – obesity, diabetes, heart disease, depression and stress – than those who did not. This report also ranks rates of healthy eating within 189 U.S. communities and identifies key aspects of well-being that have an influential relationship with healthy eating.
As previously reported, the national prevalence of several chronic diseases — including obesity (28.4%), depression (17.8%) and diabetes (11.6%) — continued to increase in 2016 and reached their highest levels since the two companies began tracking national well-being in 2008. Conversely, healthy eating is at its lowest level in 2016, with 63.2% of U.S. adults reporting eating healthy all day the previous day, down from a high of 67.7% in 2010, representing a decline of over 10 million American adults eating healthy on any given day since that year.
Many community leaders, health systems and hospitals, and employers around the country are now taking a proactive approach and implementing new food policies to improve residents’ health and well-being. This latest research suggests that an emphasis on healthy eating and sensible food policies could have a positive impact on lowering disease burden within communities nationwide.
“At NCH Healthcare System, we look at better health and well-being not only as our mission, but as our promise to those we serve,” said Alan S. Weiss, M.D., President and CEO of NCH Healthcare System. “That’s why we’re making substantive changes on our campus – improving the foods we serve in our cafeteria, eliminating sugar based beverages from our campuses, and working with local producers to have onsite farmer’s markets. Each action like this reinforces that healthy doesn’t have to be hard – small steps create success for patients, employees and the community at large.”
Residents in Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island, Florida, where NCH Healthcare System is located, report the highest rates of healthy eating in the nation, followed by Barnstable Town, Massachusetts, and Santa Cruz-Watsonville, California. In addition to these top three communities, Salinas, California, McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Texas, and Santa Rosa, California, each had more than 72% of residents report healthy eating. Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island, Barnstable Town and Santa Cruz-Watsonville also ranked highest in overall well-being for 2016, illustrating the strong relationship between healthy eating habits and overall well-being.
At the opposite end of the rankings, some of the lowest rates of healthy eating were reported in states such as Ohio, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Louisiana – each with two communities in the lowest 25. Lubbock, Texas, Memphis, Tennessee, and Cincinnati, Ohio, are the lowest three communities, each with less than 57% of their citizens reporting healthy eating on a given day. Seven of the ten lowest healthy eating communities are also among the lowest communities for overall well-being.
“Communities around the country are changing the trajectory of the health and well-being of their residents, for the better,” said Michael Acker, General Manager of the Blue Zones Project. “They are implementing evidence-based strategies and adopting proven food policies to make healthy choices easier and nutritious foods more accessible. And we’re seeing the results– better health, lower costs, and people who feel more connected to their community.”
The research in State of American Well-Being: 2016 Community Rankings for Healthy Eating is based on a subset of 354,473 telephone interviews with U.S. adults across all 50 states and the District of Columbia, conducted from Jan. 2, 2015 to Dec. 30, 2016. Gallup conducts 500 telephone interviews a day with randomly selected Americans to gather their perceptions of well-being for a resulting sample that projects to an estimated 95% of all U.S. adults.
For more information and to access the complete report, visit www.well-beingindex.com/2016-healthy-eating.
About the Gallup-Sharecare Well-Being Index™
The partnership between Gallup and Sharecare merges decades of clinical research, health care leadership and behavioral economics expertise to track and understand the key factors that drive greater well-being for individuals and populations.
The Gallup-Sharecare Well-Being Index is the world’s largest data set on well-being, with over 2.5 million surveys fielded to date. The Well-Being Index provides unmatched, in-depth insight into the well-being of populations, is frequently cited by national media, and has been leveraged by Nobel laureates and academicians for peer-review and scholarly articles. Gallup interviews 500 people every day; the result is a sample that projects to an estimated 95% of U.S. adults.
Previously known as the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, the Gallup-Sharecare Well-Being Index™ was recently rebranded following Sharecare’s 2016 acquisition of Healthways. This rebrand signifies a new and exciting union of the powerful insights generated by Gallup and the meaningful health engagement fostered by Sharecare, to create a healthier world through knowledge, information and action.
Gallup delivers analytics and advice to help leaders and organizations solve their most pressing problems. Combining more than 80 years of experience with its global reach, Gallup knows more about the attitudes and behaviors of employees, customers, students and citizens than any other organization in the world.
Sharecare is the digital health company that helps people manage all their health in one place. The Sharecare platform provides each person – no matter where they are in their health journey – with a comprehensive and personalized health profile, where they can dynamically and easily connect to the information, evidence-based programs and health professionals they need to live their healthiest, happiest and most productive life. With award-winning and innovative frictionless technologies, scientifically validated clinical protocols and best-in-class coaching tools, Sharecare helps providers, employers and health plans effectively scale outcomes-based health and wellness solutions across their entire populations. To learn more, visit www.sharecare.com.