CHICAGO — More than two-thirds of Americans are choosing healthier foods in order to promote wellness and lose or maintain weight, according to a new report from Mintel.

“Consumers are more aware than ever of their own nutritional deficits and what poor eating habits can do in terms of their long-term health,” said John Frank, category manager for consumer packaged goods food and drink reports at Mintel. “As a result, today’s consumers are seeking out healthy food with greater urgency. However, skeptical or confused consumers aren’t likely to pay a premium for healthier food, making it hard for manufacturers to justify investment in nutritional/ingredient upgrades.”

Thirty-one per cent of consumers choose healthy foods to lose weight with 30% doing so to maintain weight. Mintel said these percentages are fairly similar across all age groups, and this creates a growth opportunity for retailers as they can create their own private label versions of healthier products to generate higher profits.

The survey found older adults are more likely to maintain a more healthy diet, as 48% of Americans over 65 said they pay close attention to what they eat compared with 32% of those ages 18 to 24.

More women think they are good judges of knowing what’s good for them as opposed to men with 67% of males believing they are a good judge of healthy foods versus 76% of females believing the same. Mintel said this could be because 64% of women said they read nutritional labels while only 56% of men do the same. Many adults are inspired to eat healthier to be a good example to their children. Sixty-seven per cent of women and 57% of men said they eat healthier to model good habits for their children.