So Easter is almost here, bringing with it the eternal dilemma: to go easy on the chocolate, or to get stuck in and enjoy it? In good news for those of us concerned about such things, the latest data from Roy Morgan Research reveals there is no immediately obvious connection between a person’s Body Mass Index (BMI) and whether or not they eat chocolate.
Last year, almost two-thirds (65%) of Australians aged 18+ (or 11,845,000 people) ate chocolate at least once in an average four weeks.
Across different BMIs, the proportion of chocolate-eaters varies only slightly: 64% of underweight adults, 64% of those whose weight is acceptable and 65% of overweight adults consume it in an average four weeks. At 68%, obese adults are the most likely to indulge in any given four weeks, but only marginally.
Overweight, underweight, weight-watching…Australia’s chocolate eaters
Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), January-December 2014 (n=15,245). Base: Australians 18+
The universal snack?
Despite chocolate’s reputation as one of the ‘naughtier’ foods, it seems that people who watch their diet are just as (if not a teensy bit more) likely to eat it as anyone else.
Sixty-seven percent of Australian adults who agree with the attitude statement ‘I restrict how much I eat of fattening foods’ eat some kind of chocolate in an average four weeks. So too do 68% of those who agree that ‘I’m constantly watching my weight’ and 68% of those who ‘prefer to eat healthy snacks’.
With 74% of them consuming chocolate at least once in an average four-week period, Australians who ‘tend to snack throughout the day’ are among the most zealous chocoholics.
Angela Smith, Group Account Director, Roy Morgan Research, says:
“Our findings show that underweight adults are just as likely as their overweight counterparts to eat chocolate in an average four-week period. Obese adults are slightly more likely to consume it, but not dramatically so. Does this mean that chocolate – so often maligned for its fat and sugar content – is not the dietary devil after all?
“What’s more, Aussie adults who calorie-count, weight-watch and try to keep their snacks healthy are every bit as likely as the average Australian to eat chocolate! So much for carrot sticks and nuts.
“Of course, these figures represent incidence but not frequency of chocolate consumption, so are really just telling one side of the story. Whether a person eats chocolate once or 28 times in an average four weeks will obviously impact on their health (and probably their BMI).
“While chocolate is loved by (almost) everyone, some brands market themselves to families and kids, some focus on chocoholics, and others aim for niche groups. The chocolate market is constantly evolving, with an endless influx of new packaging, flavours, shapes, colours and, most notably in recent times, sizes. Understanding who buys Cadbury or Lindt; blocks, bars, or boxes; as well as where they purchase their chocolate from, has never been more important.
“One thing is certain: the overwhelming, almost universal, popularity of chocolate means that Easter will be an enjoyable, tasty few days for most of us!”
Roy Morgan Research
Roy Morgan Research is Australia's best known and longest established market research and public opinion survey company. Roy Morgan Single Source is thorough, accurate, and provides comprehensive, directly applicable information about current and future customers. It is unique in that it directs all the questions to each individual from a base survey sample of around 55,000 interviews in Australia and 15,000 interviews in New Zealand annually - the largest Single Source databases in the world. The questions asked relate to lifestyle and attitudes, media consumption habits (including TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, cinema, catalogues, pay TV and the Internet), brand and product usage, purchase intentions, retail visitations, service provider preferences, financial information and recreation and leisure activities. This lead product is supported by a nationally networked, consultancy-orientated market research capability.
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