2012 Food and Health Survey

Americans Find Doing Their Own Taxes Simpler than Improving Diet and Health
But, they recognize room for improvement and want to do better.

The International Food Information Council Foundation’s 2012 Food & Health Survey takes an extensive look at what Americans are doing regarding their eating and health habits and food safety practices.

The 2012 Food & Health Survey: Consumer Attitudes toward Food Safety, Nutrition & Health, commissioned by the International Food Information Council Foundation, is the seventh annual national quantitative study designed to gain insights from Americans on important food safety, nutrition, and health-related topics. The research provides the opportunity to gain insight on how Americans view their own diets, their efforts to improve them, how they balance diet and exercise, and their beliefs and behaviors when it comes to food safety.

Americans are interested in food and health related issues, with nearly all saying that they have given at least a little thought to the healthfulness of their diet, physical activity, and the safety of their food. In an environment where media reports are constantly highlighting concern over the “obesity epidemic” and seemingly contradictory news stories tout and condemn various nutrients, many consumers acknowledge that it can be hard to know what to believe. This could explain why over half of Americans believe it is easier to figure out their income taxes than to figure out what they should and shouldn’t eat to be healthier.

While Americans find it difficult to know what to believe about ever-changing nutrition information, nearly all are trying to improve at least one of their eating habits. They are considering calories and various dietary components (such as whole grains, fiber, sugars, salt and fat) when making food purchasing decisions, and many cite weight management and other health factors as the reason why they consider these components. It’s important to note, however, that taste continues to be the most important factor when it comes to purchasing decisions, with price coming in second and healthfulness as the third most important factor when making food purchasing decisions.

The International Food Information Council Foundation 2012 Food & Health Survey was conducted by Mathew Greenwald & Associates of Washington, D.C. This 25 minute, web-based survey was fielded in early April 2012. The survey respondents were reflective of the demographics of the U.S. population, and while the sample was very close to the target demographics, the data was weighted so it matched the demographics of the sample matched U.S. population targets exactly. This year, the weighting adjustments were very minor.

This Survey offers the important voice and insights of the consumer for health professionals, government officials, educators, and other interested individuals who seek to improve the lives of Americans.


For more information and key findings from the 2012 Food & Health Survey, Click HERE


Video from the 2012 Health Professional Webinar about findings from the 2012 Food & Health Survey



Click here to view the Press Release.

Click here to download the Executive Summary (PDF).

2012 IFIC Foundation Food & Health Survey Media Resources

Thursday, June 7th – the IFIC Foundation hosted a webcast to provide details on the 2012 Food & Health Survey.

Download PDF slides here

CPE Information and Certificate

Thursday, September 6th –





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the IFIC Foundation hosted a webcast “Food Safety is a Shared Responsibility,” featuring findings from the 2012 Food & Health Survey.

Download the PDF slides here

CPE Information and Certificate

2012 Food & Health Survey Live! – Man on the Mall Video Series

Food and You

Food and Safety

Information and Action

In The Media

NPR – Thursday May 24, 2012