Reasons Women Don’t Eat More Healthfully

by Sandy Todd Webster on Jul 01, 2012


You have likely heard your fair share of excuses from clients regarding why they don’t eat healthy foods more consistently. Most of us certainly have made a few such excuses ourselves. According to a new national poll of more than 1,000 women, published in the June 2012 issue of ShopSmart magazine (from the publisher of Consumer Reports), 57% of respondents said their main reason for not eating a healthier diet was cost. The ShopSmart poll about women’s habits and feelings vis-à-vis healthy eating exposed the list of excuses that follow. Knowing these were the most common sentiments, it might be useful to study this list and develop solid counterpoints to explain why these excuses don’t hold water. You’ll be ready the next time a client tries to cop out of his or her eating plan. 57%: Eating healthful foods is too expensive. 47%: Social settings are too tempting. 39%: Life is too short; I want to enjoy what I eat. 33%: It’s hard to find healthy options when eating out. 29%: I don’t have time to prepare healthy meals. 25%: My family prefers less healthy meals. 20%: Unhealthy habits are too hard to change. 18%: Healthy foods don’t satisfy my appetite. 13%: I’m not sure which foods are healthy.

IDEA Food and Nutrition Tips , Volume 1, Issue 4

© 2012 by IDEA Health & Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited.

About the Author

Sandy Todd Webster

Sandy Todd Webster IDEA Author/Presenter

Sandy Todd Webster is Editor in Chief of IDEA's publications, including the award-winning IDEA FITNESS JOURNAL, the health and fitness industry's leading resource for fitness and wellness professional...


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  • Waniekay Kay

    I also disagreed with Sara, although we live in one of the world's richest country, but there are also plenty of people living in poverty. When I used to work in a VA clinic, I would tried to counsel the old folks to make better food choices only to find that a box of hamburger is cheaper than a bag of mixed veggies to feed the family. Try living on a $100 grocery allowance per month and u will understand that not everyone is fortunate enough to eat healthy. Hence most obese population falls under the low income class.
    Commented Jul 28, 2012
  • Cassandra Dawn Jones

    Though there is value to what you say, that is a simplistic or "lame" response to a real issue families deal with. You think it is possible to just have your family "eat healthier", as if that is a solution. My husband was born with one of those metabolisms that lets him eat whatever he wants, and stay skinny. He is not the only one, as I believe many call these people "skinny fat" because they think they don't need to exercise or eat right just because they are skinny. Though his diet has improved 100% since he met me, I cannot stop him from buying a pie or icecream, or any other meal he desires. Nor can I force him to eat health food that does not fit his palate. I don't accept your "lame" advice for real challenges people face.
    Commented Jul 27, 2012
  • Sara Baker

    I do not buy these lame excuses. We live in one of the richest countries in the world, you can find healthy food. People also make time for what is a priority to them. If eating healthy is a priority, you find 30 min to make a healthy meal. You also do not have to eat what your family eats....or better yet have your family eat healthier.
    Commented Jul 25, 2012
  • Mareya "The Fit Foody" Ibrahim

    I hear this a lot from my clients and customers and the first thing I do is give them a shopping list with specific places to shop. Just like anything, you have to be a savvy grocery shopper and often the best place to buy fresh fruit, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein varies. Knowing where to go and what to buy is half the battle, but the image of 'eating healthy means expensive' needs to go away, quick! - Mareya Ibrahim, The Fit Foody
    Commented Jul 25, 2012