Dallas, TX—In a national survey, seniors rated eating healthier as their number one health priority, above such other goals as losing weight, being physically active and taking more vitamins. The United States of Aging survey was conducted in spring 2014, and involved 3,279 individuals answering a range of questions by phone.

Healthy eating was the top health goal for 37% of those over the age of 60. It beat out a range of other options, like “lose weight” (30%), “get more sleep” (7%) and “take more vitamins” (6%). A balanced diet and regular exercise were thought to be equally important by 42% of seniors surveyed.

Only 12% of seniors said that seeing a doctor or taking necessary medication were their top health goals. This is likely due in part to the fact that those activities are straightforward and easy to perform, but an emphasis on lifestyle factors is still clearly evident from the survey data. Priorities were largely similar for those aged 18–59. The survey was a collaboration of the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging, the National Council on Aging, UnitedHealthcare and USA TODAY.

Published in WholeFoods Magazine, September 2014 (online 8/1/14)