Survey Shows Majority of Americans Are Planning to Change Nutrition and Fitness Habits in 2015

Physicians Are Trusted But Untapped Resource In Adopting Healthy Behaviors

WASHINGTON--()--Family Medicine for America’s Health today released survey results revealing that most Americans (83%) are looking to make a change in their diet and exercise this year, but fewer than half (43%) will do so in consultation with their doctor. According to the survey of more than 1,000 adults aged 18+, Americans have by far the most trust in physicians to provide advice about healthy behaviors, yet turn most often to online sources, which they trust at a much lower rate. The study also found that 4 in 5 Americans consider their lifestyle healthy despite the fact that half of Americans say they exercised two times or less often in the past two weeks.

“The patient-physician partnership is a powerful yet underutilized tool in adopting healthy behaviors,” said Glen Stream, MD, MBI, chair, Family Medicine for America’s Health board of directors. “By empowering patients to directly and positively affect their health, primary care doctors can provide the right tools and ongoing, personalized support to adopt and sustain healthy habits. Expanding access to and use of primary care in this country can help put the health back in health care.”

Primary care doctors work with patients to evaluate their whole health, aim to have long-term relationships with their patients and are trained to provide advice on healthy behaviors. With the guidance of a primary care doctor, individuals can develop a personalized strategy to adopt healthy eating and exercise habits and achieve health and fitness goals.

“Our health care system is out of balance,” continued Stream. “Spending on treatment far exceeds spending on prevention. Evidence shows that about 40 percent of what makes us healthy is a result of our own behaviors. If we want to address growing rates of chronic disease in this country, we need to put more emphasis on primary care, where we can promote and support healthy behaviors.”

“Health promotion and prevention are an integral part of family medicine and primary care,” said Stream. “We are working to build a health care system in this country where everybody has a trusted relationship with a primary care physician and a medical home where they can get sound advice and consistent support for healthy behaviors.”

Family Medicine for America's Health launched a national multi-year campaign, Health is Primary, to raise awareness of the role of primary care in the health care system and demonstrate its value in delivering on the Triple Aim of better health, better care and lower costs. The campaign will travel to cities around the country to engage local stakeholders and showcase community level interventions that are working to enhance and expand primary care and improve health. Health is Primary also coincides with a five-year strategic initiative to transform family medicine to meet the changing needs of the health care system.

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About Family Medicine for America’s Health

Family Medicine for America’s Health, the organization behind Health is Primary, is a new collaboration between the nation’s eight leading family medicine organizations to drive continued improvement of the U.S. health care system and demonstrate the value of true primary care. We represent:

  • American Academy of Family Physicians;
  • American Academy of Family Physicians Foundation;
  • American Board of Family Medicine;
  • American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians;
  • Association of Departments of Family Medicine;
  • Association of Family Medicine Residency Directors;
  • North American Primary Care Research Group; and
  • Society of Teachers of Family Medicine.

About the survey

This Family Medicine for America’s Health Fitness and Nutrition Study was conducted January 15-18, 2015 among 1,001 adults (aged 18 and over) living in the United States. This online survey was sponsored by Family Medicine for America’s Health as part of its Health is Primary effort.

Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in an opt-in survey panel. The data have been weighted to reflect the demographic composition of adults in the United States.


Family Medicine for America’s Health
Ann Saybolt, 703.969.2859
Kirsten Thistle, 301.802.4567

Release Summary

Family Medicine for America’s Health today released a survey that shows a majority of Americans are planning to change nutrition and health habits, but few will do so in consultation with their doctor


Family Medicine for America’s Health
Ann Saybolt, 703.969.2859
Kirsten Thistle, 301.802.4567