Better Homes & Gardens, Meredith Corporation’s flagship lifestyle, home, and food brand, today announced findings from Food Factor: The Evolution of Eats, a nationwide survey conducted among U.S. women. The study took a comprehensive look at women’s motivations, attitudes, and behaviors relating to food including cooking, shopping, and eating.

Overall, the study found that women are moving away from specific diets, trends, and tactics to more permanent, healthy lifestyle changes. In fact, while two-thirds of women polled say they and their households are eating healthier in the last two years, just over half say they do not follow a specific diet but have recently made significant modifications in what and how they eat.

“While women continue to be health-conscious, their approach to their diet has changed,” says Nancy Hopkins, Senior Food Editor of Better Homes & Gardens,

“These women no longer want short term solutions from diet fads and tricks; they want to make meaningful changes that will last them over the course of their lives.”

This new approach has led to big changes in dieting in the last two years:

  • 63 percent of women are now focusing on eating healthier foods in general – compared to only 50 percent in 2014
  • Only 27 percent of women say they or any household member has followed a special diet in the last year – down 20 percentage points from 2014
  • 64 percent are paying more attention to nutrition than they did two years ago – compared to only 53 percent in 2014
  • 53 percent say they are working to make small, permanent changes in their eating, including:
  • 71 percent of women are eating more vegetables – up 14 percentage points from 2014, while 66 percent of women are eating more fruits – up 19 percentage points from 2014.
  • Half of the women are now adding more salad to their diets, and 3 in 5 even grow their own fruits and vegetables.
  • While fruit and vegetable consumption is up, women are eating 33 percent less meat than before, with about 1 in 3 women having occasional vegetarian meals/days.
  • 85 percent say they consider the healthfulness of a recipe before selecting it, and 50 percent have changed recipes so that they’re healthier.

Food Factor: The Evolution of Eats was fielded in July 2016 and, in total, more than 2,000 responses were collected from respondents, U.S. women ages 18+. The 126-question survey was divided into 11 sections, with each respondent completing one to three sections, depending on the number of questions per section. The margin of error at 95 percent confidence level for 400 respondent base per question is +/- 4.9 percent, for the total respondent base of 2K it’s +/- 2.2 percent.

This study is the fifth wave of the modern trending research that continues the 20+ year tradition of the Better Homes & Gardens Food Trend Study, providing insights into America’s food shopping, cooking and serving habits.