SOURCE: Decision Analyst

December 17, 2008 12:32 ET

Economic Conditions Having Negative Effect on Consumers, According to Decision Analyst Study

ARLINGTON, TX--(Marketwire - December 17, 2008) - Economic conditions are having a negative impact on Americans' healthcare and general well being, according to a recent study by Decision Analyst, a leading international marketing research and marketing consulting firm. In a recent online survey of 3,000 U.S. adults, Decision Analyst asked participants to describe how their "personal economic condition is impacting their health or health-related activities." Decision Analyst tracks the health and nutritional behaviors and attitudes of the U.S. population on a continuous basis through its Health and Nutrition Strategist™ study.

Among the findings, 12% of respondents said they've stopped buying their prescription medications on a regular basis, and 42% of women and 37% of men said they are putting off visits to the doctor or dentist.

"Economic conditions are causing consumers to postpone medical care, lose sleep, and select cheaper, less healthy foods," said Diane Brewton, Senior Vice President at Decision Analyst who heads up the Health and Nutrition Strategist™ study. "Should these trends continue, consumers' long-term health will be impacted negatively by both increased stress levels and delayed medical treatment."

                Recent Health Or Health-Related Activities
                     Impacted By Economic Conditions

                                                                  Percent
                                                                 Who Agree
                                                                   With
                     Statement                                   Statement
                     ---------                                   ---------
I do not eat out at restaurants or order takeout as often             57.5%
I worry more often now than I used to                                 55.5%
I'm having more trouble sleeping through the night than I used
 to                                                                   44.5%
I am not exercising as often                                          42.5%
I am eating more comfort-type foods                                   39.9%
I've put off going to the doctor or dentist                           39.2%
I am eating cheaper, less healthy foods                               36.9%
I am eating fewer fresh fruits and vegetables                         32.2%
I take more over-the-counter pain relievers or sleep aids             25.6%
I am overeating more often                                            25.3%
I have quit buying my prescription medications regularly              12.1%
I have put off having children                                        10.4%

Source: American Consumer Opinion® Online survey (www.acop.com)

While the recession is having more impact on lower income households, higher income households are not immune to the effects of the recession, as shown below.

               Recent Health Or Health-Related Activities
                    Impacted By Economic Conditions
                       By Household Annual Income

                                               Percent Who Agree With
                                                      Statement
                                           -------------------------------
                                                       $50,000
                                           Less than      to       Over
            Statement                       $50,000    $99,999   $100,000
            ---------                      ---------   --------  ---------
I do not eat out at restaurants or order
 takeout as often                               62.2%      53.8%      50.3%
I worry more often now than I used to           58.1%      53.2%      52.3%
I'm having more trouble sleeping through
 the night than I used to                       48.4%      41.0%      39.4%
I am not exercising as often                    46.9%      39.7%      34.9%
I am eating more comfort-type foods             42.1%      38.5%      35.6%
I've put off going to the doctor or
 dentist                                        46.6%      33.9%      27.2%
I am eating cheaper, less healthy foods         45.9%      31.1%      21.4%
I am eating fewer fresh fruits and
 vegetables                                     39.3%      29.0%      17.4%
I take more over-the-counter pain
 relievers or sleep aids                        29.2%      24.8%      16.7%
I am overeating more often                      27.5%      23.7%      22.0%
I have quit buying my prescription
 medications regularly                          15.6%      10.0%       5.6%
I have put off having children                  12.1%       8.9%       7.9%

Source: American Consumer Opinion® Online survey (www.acop.com)

Methodology

This study is based on interviews with 3,000 consumers selected to create a statistically balanced sample of the U.S. adult population. The margin of error is plus or minus 2% at a 95% level of confidence. The study was conducted using American Consumer Opinion® Online (www.acop.com) panel in October-November 2008.

About Decision Analyst

Decision Analyst (www.decisionanalyst.com), based in Dallas-Fort Worth, is a leading global marketing research and marketing consulting firm specializing in advertising testing, strategy research, new product development, and advanced modeling for marketing decision optimization. The 30-year-old firm delivers competitive advantage to clients throughout the world in the consumer-packaged goods, retail, medical, and pharmaceutical industries. In addition, Decision Analyst operates American Consumer Opinion® Online, one of the world's largest online panels with more than seven million participants.

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