After releasing the findings from the 2020 Diet Decisions Survey, Herbalife Nutrition revealed that Malaysian consumers are eating better and exercising more, with 65% believing that they will emerge healthier in the new normal.
The survey, which polled 8,000 consumers in eight Asia Pacific markets, including Australia, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan and Vietnam, also shed light on the motivations behind the consumers’ recent dietary and lifestyle changes, to inspire more people to adopt better nutrition and lifestyle habits to improve their overall well-being now and into the future.
“The hard times we are currently facing has redefined how we stay healthy and active within the comfort of our own homes. It has been challenging, but we’ve learned that there is always room to make changes to improve our lifestyles, especially when those changes can lead to lasting results in our personal well-being,” said Steven Chin, General Manager and Director, Herbalife Nutrition Malaysia.
“From the survey, almost 50% of Malaysians have made changes to their diet, with 61% consuming more fruits, vegetables, and other plant-based foods and consuming less meat. In fact, more consumers want to eat nutrient-dense, plant-based proteins but don’t know where to start. This reveals a need for wider public nutrition education to help consumers make better decisions in their daily diets.”
Consumers believe they will emerge healthier than before
According to the survey findings, 49% of respondents in Malaysia have made a major change to their diet. Among the top motivators for changing their diet include:
- Their health (75%)
- Weight loss (38%)
- More cost-effective (38%)
- More environmentally-friendly (21%)
The key reasons for making dietary changes during these times as opposed to taking action at other times include:
- Had time to research healthier foods (57%)
- Had time to cook more and learn new recipes (48%)
- Wanted to use time at home for a positive change (44%)
Beyond making changes to their diet, 63% of Malaysians also started to exercise more.
A shift towards plant-based diets
Diving deeper into the dietary changes, 61% of consumers in Malaysia who have made changes to their diet started eating more fruits and vegetables, 47% ate less meat, while 41% chose to eat more plant-based foods.
Additionally, 56% of Malaysians displayed a greater openness to plant-based food options than before. With that, food chains in Malaysia are now producing more meat-free plant-based products, catering to this up and coming fast-emerging segment that champions a sustainable and healthier food consumption solution.
Based on the survey, here are some of the preferred sources of plant-based protein by Malaysians:
- Soy and soy-based food (37%)
- Nuts and seeds (24%)
- Other types of beans (13%)
Positive health impact, sustained dietary changes expected
When it comes to the impact of the dietary changes, a large majority (82%) of Malaysians have noticed a positive difference in their health. In addition, 69% believed that their dietary changes this time around have lasted longer compared to a different time. As a result, 82% plan to keep the dietary changes for the foreseeable future.
To help consumers maintain their new diets in the new normal, having easy-to-follow meal plans came up top for Malaysians (58%) as the key factor to keep up with their healthier nutrition regime. In addition, 49% said that having a health and wellness coach would help, while 45% chose convenient meal alternatives that don’t take long to make.