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Canadians searching for ways to live healthier lifestyles

An overwhelming majority of Canadians (91 percent) say they are searching for a way to break through to healthier living by overcoming obstacles that include a lack of motivation and time, according to a new national poll conducted by research consultants Research & Incite on behalf of POM Wonderful.

According to the survey looking at Canadian attitudes toward health and wellness as well as goals for healthier lifestyles, it revealed that only 29 percent polled have managed to achieve any of their healthy living goals this year. While nine in 10 Canadians (91 percent) surveyed want to live a healthier lifestyle, 71 percent also said that they are seeking better eating habits.

"Canadians tend to live fairly fast-paced lives so it's not surprising that many cite time constraints, work-life balance or low motivation as obstacles to making the real changes that they want to achieve," said Abby Langer, a registered dietitian who specializes in nutrition counseling. "Taking a simple approach will lead to progress and build momentum."

Half of those polled said their goals include eating less processed food, eating less fast food (36 percent) and eating more naturally sourced food (32 percent). Unfortunately, nearly one in four said they find it challenging to incorporate healthy foods into their diet. The main barriers cited by Canadians on accomplishing their health goals include a lack of motivation (48 percent), time constraints (32 percent) and poor work-life balance (24 percent).

"Healthy eating doesn't need to be complicated — make incremental changes to diet and activity that will add up to better health and enhanced lifestyles," Langer added. "It's an important balance between diet, exercise and well-being. These changes could include walking to work, setting aside time for self care or incorporating healthy beverages."

The national survey of more than 1,000 Canadians aged 40 to 65 years was completed between Aug. 24 and Sept. 7.