Diet confusion hits healthy eating



Thursday 25 June 2020


  • Two out of five people are on a diet at least twice a year but two in three claim it is hard to eat healthily
  • Medical professionals are the most trusted for nutrition advice while just one in four rely on Government guidelines
  • AIG has created four free nutrition and fitness guides to help customers adjust to the ‘new normal’


Research1 from AIG Life Limited shows more than two out of three adults find it hard to eat healthily despite millions going on diets at least twice a year.

The nationwide study highlights a hunger for nutritional advice with 40% of adults saying they go on a diet at least every six months to keep their weight down. Around one in eight (12%) are permanently dieting with women more likely at 14% to be full-time dieters than men at almost one in 10 (9%).

But the dieting effort is not paying off. Nearly one in three (30%) say their weight gradually creeps back up again. AIG Life’s study found 67% of adults say eating healthily is hard with one in five (20%) finding it very hard.

Finding reliable advice is difficult – 61% of those questioned say there is too much conflicting advice on diet and nutrition while 60% blame the variety of fad diets around.

Medical professionals including doctors are seen as the best source of support on nutrition and diet – nearly half (47%) of people trust them the most but Government health guidelines are only trusted by 27%.

People seeking diet and nutrition advice are wary about troubling the NHS for support – nearly three out of four adults (73%) say people should take more responsibility to ease the pressure on NHS services.

To help people manage their health and adjust to the ‘new normal’, life insurer AIG has worked with nutritionists to create four free fitness and nutrition guides – eat well to feel well, how to exercise at home, good mood foods and nutritious kitchen essentials. They offer tips and advice on staying healthy while social distancing and spending more time at home.

The guides give a glimpse of the personalised support that AIG protection insurance customers can seek from its Smart Health app and online wellbeing service to improve their general wellbeing, mental health or manage a medical condition.

Smart Health was launched in August 2019 to give AIG Life’s new and existing customers unlimited, 24-hour access to health services. It provides access to an online UK-based GP as well as diet and nutrition advice, as part of their protection insurance and at no extra cost.


Sue Helmont, Marketing Director at AIG Life, commented:

'The foods we eat can have a profound effect on our wellbeing. In these times of stress and uncertainty, we can take small steps to look after ourselves – both physically and mentally. Yet knowing where to start and changing eating habits isn’t easy.'

'Smart Health nutrition experts can recommend the best foods to eat whatever someone’s circumstances – whether you’re gluten free,  want to improve your immune system or need help finding new healthy recipes that will go down a treat with the whole household.'


1 Research conducted by ID Insight Consulting among a representative sample of 2,008 working adults aged 18 to 65 between 8th and 15th April 2019