The Nielsen Company
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Almost six-in-ten Koreans are currently trying to lose weight …higher than global average (48%)
Doing physical exercise(74%) and changing diet(57%) are the most popular methods to lose weight in Korea
Only one-in-four Koreans indicate mostly understand the nutritional labeling
SEOUL--(Korea Newswire) February 27, 2012 -- Nielsen, a leading global provider of information and insights around what consumers watch and buy, recently released a new report indicating that more than half of Korean consumers(54%) consider themselves overweight and almost six-in-ten(57%) are currently trying to lose weight, which is higher than the regional(47%) and global average(48%).
Nielsen’s 2011 Global Survey on healthy eating trends with more than 25,000 internet respondents in 56 countries shows that more than half of global consumers(53%) see themselves overweight, which is up from 50% three years ago and more than one-in-three(36%) say they are about the right weight, which is down from 40% three years ago.
Ways to lose weight: physical exercise and changing diet are most popular method globally
Doing physical exercise(74%) ranked the highest how to lose weight for Korean consumer, followed by changing diet(57%) and taking diet pills/bars/shakes(9%). Meanwhile, dieting is the most popular method among more than three quarters(78%) of global respondents, followed by closely by engaging in physical exercise(69%).
Regarding the way of changing diet, one-in-six(59%) Koreans say they eat the same but having smaller portions as the most, followed by cutting down on fats(43%) and cutting down on chocolates and sugars(36%).
On the one hand, 70% of global respondents choose cutting down on fats as the most popular way to shed unwanted pounds. Trimming back on chocolates and sugary foods(62%) and eating more natural, fresh foods(55%) round out the top three ways consumers are changing their diets. In fact, using these tried and true methods has remained virtually unchanged from three years ago, according to Nielsen’s 2008 report.
Label Confusion: Asia Pacific region ranked the lowest in understanding of nutrition labels
The Asia Pacific region shows the lowest percentage of consumers with a full understanding of nutrition labels, with less than one-third(31%) mostly comfortable with the information. Both globally and within the region, food label confusion is the highest in the Chinese-speaking world and other Southeast Asian markets. Just around one-fifth of consumers in Taiwan and Hong Kong(20% and 21%, respectively) and one-quarter of respondents from China and South Korea(25% each) indicate
they mostly understand the nutritional labeling.
Consumers Show Health Claim Skepticism
Nielsen’s study shows that global respondents are skeptical about the accuracy and believability of health claims found on food packaging, such as “low fat” and “all natural.” Across 10 nutritional content categories studied, at least more than two-thirds of global respondents indicate they believe the nutritional claims are either never or only sometimes trustworthy.
“While global consumers try to cut down fats and eat more fresh foods to changing diet, Korean consumers focus on simply ‘eating less’. It is logical that Korea is one of the countries which show the lowest understanding on the nutritional labeling, even skeptical about it. But it is also certain that Koreans have keen interest in healthy eating because one of their top concerns are ‘health’ and they are excited at local TV programs on losing weight. This trend would be a good momentum for marketers to promote consumer-friendly nutritional labeling, which can be a powerful marketing tool for consumers who are hungry for easy-to-understand information.” analyzed Eun-Hee Shin, Managing Director, Nielsen Korea
About the Nielsen Global Survey
The Global Survey on healthy eating trends was conducted in March/April 2011 and in August/September 2011 and polled more than 25,000 consumers in 56 countries throughout Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and North America. The sample has quotas based on age and sex for each country based on their Internet users, and is weighted to be representative of Internet consumers and has a maximum margin of error of ±0.6%. This Nielsen survey is based on the behavior of respondents with online access only. Internet penetration rates vary by country. Nielsen uses a minimum reporting standard of 60 percent Internet penetration or 10M online population for survey inclusion. The Nielsen Global Omnibus Survey, which includes the Global Consumer Confidence Survey, was established in 2005.
Nielsen Holdings N.V. (NYSE: NLSN) is a global information and measurement company with leading market positions in marketing and consumer information, television and other media measurement, online intelligence, mobile measurement, trade shows and related properties. Nielsen has a presence in approximately 100 countries, with headquarters in New York, USA and Diemen, the Netherlands. For more information, visit www.nielsen.com.