U.S. consumers hooked on health benefits of fish, Cargill survey finds
Consumers prefer fish over fish oil supplements
MINNEAPOLIS - May 4, 2016 – According to a recent Cargill Animal Nutrition survey, U.S. consumers recognize there are more health benefits associated with eating fish and seafood compared to taking fish oil supplements. Consumers understand that the health benefits of fish, the world’s fastest growing protein source, outweigh that of fish oil supplements, despite their popularity.
While one-third (33 percent) of U.S. households take fish oil supplements, more consumers (90 percent) across all generations associate health benefits with fish/seafood over fish oil supplements (82 percent). According to the study, the top three benefits consumers associate with seafood consumption are heart health (60 percent), low fat (49 percent) and brain health (41 percent).
Recent research shows consumer perception to be correct: eating whole fish is more nutritious than consuming a fish oil supplement. Studies show that adding fish oil alone to the diet does not necessarily improve cardiovascular disease risk or cognitive health, two of the health benefits most cited by consumers in the survey¹. Fish provides healthy oils that are absorbed around nine times more than oils from a fish oil supplement². Researchers recommend consumers follow the American Heart Association guidelines and incorporate a variety of oily fish into their diet at least twice a week to get the recommended amount of Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D.
“It’s clear that making fish and seafood a regular part of your meal plan has tremendous health benefits,” said Dr. Felicia D. Stoler, DCN, MS, RDN, FACSM, and FAND Nutritionist & Exercise Physiologist. A proper diet that includes fish protein, in addition to other healthy lifestyle behaviors, will go a long way in promoting overall health.”
Results of the survey are also in line with industry data that suggests the demand for fish is growing, driven by an increasing and more affluent global population that understands the health benefits of eating seafood³. Seafood demand is expected to increase by 70 percent by 2050, and it’s a demand Cargill and the industry are working to satisfy.
“Fish is clearly an important source of healthy protein and it’s encouraging that consumers know the real benefits of eating seafood,” said Einar Wathne, president of Cargill Aqua Nutrition, “We are anticipating that further advances in aquaculture nutrition will ensure that fish and seafood are going to play a significant role in satisfying the world’s protein needs and in providing health and nutrition benefits to a growing population in the years ahead.”
Tim Loesch, 612-860-6022, [email protected]
¹Rethinking Fish-Oil Pills for Heart and Brain (2012). Tufts University Health and Nutrition Letter, Volume 30, Number 8.
²Ghasemifarda, S., Turchinib, G.M., Sinclaira, A.J. (2012). Omega-3 long chain fatty acid “bioavailability”: A review of evidence and methodological considerations. Progress in Lipid Research, Volume 56, Pages 92–108.
³Almeida, I. (2015 August 18). Fish Farming Becomes Bigger Business Than the Open Sea. Bloomberg. Retrieved from http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-08-17/hungry-fish-farms-lure-cargill-as-seafood-demand-grows
About Cargill Animal Nutrition’s Feed for Thought Survey
The online survey for Cargill Animal Nutrition was conducted by ORC International April 7-10, 2016, and polled a demographically representative sample of 1,029 U.S. adults. This is the inaugural survey in Cargill Animal Nutrition’s new Feed for Thought research initiative. Feed for Thought will periodically explore key perceptions and opinions of the animal protein supply chain.
Cargill provides food, agriculture, financial and industrial products and services to the world. Together with farmers, customers, governments and communities, we help people thrive by applying our insights and 150 years of experience. We have 150,000 employees in 70 countries who are committed to feeding the world in a responsible way, reducing environmental impact and improving the communities where we live and work. For more information, visit Cargill.com and our News Center.
About Cargill Animal Nutrition
Cargill’s animal nutrition business has more than 20,000 employees at more than 275 facilities in 40 countries. Fueled by our innovation and research, we offer a range of products and services to feed manufacturers, animal producers, and feed retailers around the world, helping put food on the plates of nearly one billion people around the world every day. Cargill’s animal nutrition business offers a range of compound feed, premixes, feed additives, supply chain and risk management solutions, software tools and animal nutrition expertise that is unmatched in the industry. For more information about Cargill Animal Nutrition, visit: http://www.cargill.com/feed.