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What Supplements Americans Take Survey

Key Findings Summary

It was recently reported that 77% of Americans consume dietary supplements.

That’s the highest it’s ever been!

To cross-check these facts and get a still deeper insight into the current state of dietary supplement affairs, Top10Supps conducted its own U.S.A-specific web-based survey. 

We wanted to see how accurate this recent report was and find out:

  • which Americans take supplements
    • (gender, age, income, education)
  • what products are they taking
  • for what reason(s) do they take them
  • what was important to them when buying supplements
  • what they thought of the industry and influencers
  • what type of lifestyle do they lead

Thus, out of curiosity, we decided to conduct our own USA specific survey.

We ended up collecting a whopping 1,002 responses, and these are the results we obtained.

Without further ado, let’s jump right in and learn what the findings are!

Who are the Americans that take supplements?

Gender and Age

A total of 1002 adults participated in the study, of whom 58.9% were females, 40.7% were males, and 0.4% identified themselves as “other”.

Divided into four age groups — 18-29 years old, 30-39 years old, 40-49 years old, and 50 years or older — the groups represented 15.5%, 14.5%, 16.4%, and 53.7% of the total participants, respectively.

Those who are 50 years or older appear to be in the lead for supplements consumption — 92% adults in this age group are taking supplements, followed by 91% adults in the 30-39 age group.

With 79% saying yes, those in the age bracket of 18-29 appear to be slightly less attracted by supplements when compared to other groups. 

Education and Income

Most of the survey participants reported that they have some college education (42%) or a Bachelor’s Degree (28.5%). About 15% and 12% said they have a Master’s Degree and a High School Degree, respectively. A small portion (2.9%) happen to be Ph.D. degree holders as well. 

Interestingly enough, those ahead in education (with Ph.D. or Master’s Degrees) also happen to be ahead in supplement use, with 96% Ph.D. and Master’s Degree holders reporting that they use dietary supplements. The rest of the participants in other education categories aren’t far behind though as they all fall in the range of 91%-94%.  

Income wise, the majority of participants (52.9%) earn between $30K-$100K annually and, of these, 95% said they use supplements.

The next majority (33.1%) are those earning less than $30K and, in this group, 95% reported taking supplements. Although adults who earn over $100K a year also take them in a large proportion (95%), their overall representation in the survey stands relatively low at 14.1%. 

Lifestyle and Habits

The large majority of our surveyed adults in America (95.3%) try to eat healthy and well-balanced diets. This is compounded by the fact that about 85.3% of them reportedly don’t use tobacco or do any kind of smoking.

About 57% of those who use dietary supplements also discuss them with their doctors.

Those who take supplements and at the same time exercise at least two times a week (and at most five times) appear to make up about 66% of respondents.

Adults who take supplements and prop it up to exercising 6-7 times a week make up about 11%.

On the flip side, about 11% of the surveyed adults who take supplements don’t exercise at all; and about 20% exercise but only 1-2 times a week. 

Why and how often do they take supplements?

The vast majority of the American adults we surveyed (77.6%) considered their Overall Health as the main reason they take dietary supplements. Energy Levels and Building Muscles stood second with 37% women and 38% men considering them as the second biggest reason, respectively.

The top 10 reasons Americans take supplements were: Overall Health (77.6%), Energy Levels (35%), Inflammation (27.7%), Anti-Aging (26.3%), Brain Support (25.7%), Immune System Support (25%), Joint & Bone Health (22.2%), Sleep (21.1%), Weight Loss (20.9%), and Building Muscle (19.7%).

As for how often Americans take supplements on a weekly basis, the results were: 58.2% take them 6-7x per week, 16.7% take them 4-5x per week, 7.9% take them 2-3x per week, 6.5% take them 1-2x per week, 3.6% said they take them occasionally, and 7.1% said they didn’t take supplements at all.

What supplements do Americans take the most?

As for the types of supplements Americans report taking, the results were:

  • Multivitamins, taken by 56% of adults as the top vitamins & minerals choice
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids, taken by almost 40% of adults as the top specialty choice
  • Protein Powder, taken by 38% of adults as the top choice for sports & exercise supplement
  • Turmeric, taken by 36% of adults as the top herbal & botanical choice
  • and Fat Burners, taken by 7.2% of adults as the top choice for weight loss management

Probiotics came in as a close second in the specialty supplements category, while caffeine was the runner up in the sports and exercise category, which should surprise no one.

Also, not a complete surprise was the fact that plant-based supplements came in under the top 10 specialty supplements. Keeping in line with the plant-based food trend we are currently experiencing.

What they look for when buying?

Of course, the survey couldn’t miss out on what consumers think is important when it comes to dietary supplements.

For about 42% of the surveyed users, Quality Ingredients are the most important factor when buying a supplement from certain brands. 

On the flip side, about 57% and 53% are somewhere in the middle when it comes to believing supplement companies or supplement review sites, respectively. 

Industry Sentiment

  • 41.9 percent said Quality ingredients are the most important when buying
  • 57.4 percent are somewhere in the middle when it comes to believing supplement companies
  • 53.2 percent are somewhere in the middle when it comes to believing review sites

In general, these findings are indicative of the fact that supplements are playing an important role in the overall health and wellness of American citizens. The Top10Supps survey reaffirms the high dependency of people on them as well as their strong confidence in the industry as a whole. 

About the Survey

Survey period: August 2019 – January 2020

Respondents: 1,002

The data shown is from the 2019 Consumer Survey on Dietary Supplements, conducted August 2019 through January 2020 by Top10Supps.com, an independent supplement review site with a decade of industry experience. The survey was conducted online, in English, using Sumo Me and Google Form services and included a national sample of 1,002 adults aged 18 and older living in the United States (verified through IP Geolocation). The precision of the survey was measured using an Ipsos base size credibility interval. In this case, the poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points for supplement users.

If you reference this survey, please cite us using the link below.

Source: Top10Supps (top10supps.com/american-supplements-survey)

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