Half of Vietnamese consumers need more exercise and healthier diets

November 02, 2021 | 15:46
1 in 2 (54 per cent) of consumers in Vietnam told the Asia Pacific Health Inertia Survey 2021 of Herbalife Nutrition that their current mental and physical health was less than ideal. Compared to a year ago, Asia-Pacific consumers were largely split over whether their health is better or worse.
Half of Vietnamese consumers need more exercise and healthier diets
1 in 2 Vietnamese consumers believe they need more exercise and healthy eating – Herbalife Nutrition survey

According to the findings of Herbalife Nutrition's survey, among those who saw a deterioration in their physical health in the past 12 months, seven in 10 (73 per cent) attributed it to the lack of physical activity, followed by eating more unhealthy food (45 per cent) and lack of community support to keep up with exercise regimens (32 per cent). When it comes to mental health deterioration, the key reasons included stress over work uncertainties (60 per cent), staying home more often due to movement restrictions (67 per cent), and the lack of social interactions (41 per cent).

For the respondents who saw an improvement in their physical and mental health compared to 12 months ago, the common contributing factor was more exercise. Other factors included consumption of healthier meals, community support, and more personal time and space.

Conducted in July and August 2021, Herbalife Nutrition’s Asia-Pacific Health Inertia Survey 2021 polled 5,496 consumers aged 18 and above in 11 Asia-Pacific markets, including Australia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam. The survey revealed insights into the impact of the pandemic on consumers’ health, as well as their attitudes and behaviours towards improving their well-being.

Many started eating healthier, exercising more

Despite most Asia-Pacific consumers seeing the current state of their health as less than ideal, many have taken the first step to eat healthier and exercise more as a result of the pandemic.

Consumers in the region said they started eating healthier, with the trend being most evident in Vietnam (78 per cent). Among those who said they started to eat less healthily due to the pandemic, the number one factor was the ability to easily access unhealthy snacks.

The survey also revealed that 64 per cent of consumers started exercising more because of the pandemic. For those who exercised less during the pandemic, most claimed to exercise 1-3 days less per week, citing lack of personal motivation to exercise, lack of space at home to exercise, and the inability to access gyms and fitness centres as the main reasons.

Technology key in enabling healthy active behaviours

With the digital wave sweeping across countries in the Asia-Pacific, technology and social media is also playing a more important role to support healthy active living.

Seven in 10 (72 per cent) consumers in Vietnam now use technology tools such as publicly available virtual fitness classes and videos (60 per cent), fitness trackers (40 per cent), fitness and workout apps (33 per cent) and nutrition apps (39 per cent) to support their healthy living regimen.

More consumers in Vietnam also found that social media had a positive influence (40 per cent) on their mental health than a negative influence (15 per cent).

Those who indicated social media as having a positive effect cited the following factors: Reading of inspirational/motivational content (65 per cent); Viewing of humorous/light-hearted content (64 per cent); and Inspiration/motivation from social media influencers (61 per cent).

Clear desire to kickstart healthy active lifestyles

When asked about their plans to adopt healthy active living habits in the next 12 months, an overwhelming majority (96 per cent) of consumers said that they plan to eat more healthily, while 91 per cent plan to exercise more.

Among the steps that they would take to eat more healthily include: Drink more water (74 per cent); Incorporate more fruits and vegetables into meals (69 per cent); and, Reduce consumption of sugar and sweets (63 per cent).

Key actions that they would take to exercise more include: Create a specific routine that incorporates regular exercise (72 per cent); Influence family and friends to exercise together physically or virtually (43 per cent); and, Purchase exercise equipment to work out at home (44 per cent).

Herbalife Nutrition's annual Virtual Run has also returned in October, organised as part of the Company’s Get Moving with Good Nutrition campaign to spark widespread action towards living a healthier life. The run took place in 11 markets including Australia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam, supported by a wider range of engagement platforms and digital content to equip Asia-Pacific consumers with healthy living tips and tools, as well as to help them foster a supportive community on their running journey.

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