Ageing in Asia: Herbalife insights reveal South East Asians more confident in ageing healthily than North Asians
In addition, both regions were concerned about different ageing aspects, and had different frequency of supplementation.
The data was retrieved from the Herbalife Nutrition Healthy Aging survey with 5,500 consumers in Asia Pacific.
Healthy ageing is the process of developing and maintaining the functional ability that enables wellbeing in older age. In the survey, respondents said that healthy ageing was about being mentally active and sharp (61%), physically active (57%), and not suffering from any chronic or acute illness (56%).
“We believe that there are good habits that can help you age well and all of us have the potential to support our nutrition and wellbeing through the lifestyle choices we make every day,” said Daliea Mohamad-Liauw, vice president, corporate communications, Asia Pacific.
The survey included respondents from North Asia (Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan) and South East Asia (Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam).
36% of South East Asians were more confident about ageing healthily compared to 14% from North Asia.
North Asians were more concerned about eye-related issues and aged-based weight gain compared to South East Asians who were more focused on bone and joint related issues.
South East Asians were more likely to take supplements (56%) compared to North Asians (33%).
Mohamad-Liauw told NutraIngredients-Asia that consumers in South East Asia expressed greater optimism about ageing. “For example, they are more likely to anticipate being happier, being able to appreciate life more, and being able to pursue goals and interests.”
Another key difference was that South East Asians were more likely to notice signs of ageing related to physical appearance, compared to North Asians who were more likely to first notice the onset of chronic health issues.
Mohamad-Liauw said these might relate to South East Asian respondents taking more steps to age healthily as they were more likely to view certain healthy habits as being important such as taking supplements or making better nutrition choices.
“The insights suggest that consumers in South East Asia are more knowledgeable and interested on how to age healthily, and would be more receptive to nutrition information, and learning more about eating and lifestyle habits that support this process.”
For the group not taking steps actively, reasons cited were lack of time (45%), lack of motivation (45%) and cost (34%).
Overall, across all of APAC, 30% respondents were confident in their ability to age healthily.
Future opportunities and woes
The survey was conducted last year in the middle of the COVID-19 outbreak.
As the pandemic progresses, Mohamad-Liauw said certain health aspects may have seen an acceleration as a result.
“Immunity has become a hot topic as we continue to navigate through the new normal. There is certainly a stronger awareness on the importance of balanced nutrition and staying active and this year is an opportunity to retake control of our physical and mental health, which are key aspects of healthy ageing.”
In addition, ASEAN is looking to finalise the health supplement regulations later this year, which will remove non-tariff barriers, attract investments, increase production capacity and promote research and development in the region.
“Consumers would welcome regulations that set consistent, high-quality standards for ingredients, manufacturing practices and finished product testing,” Mohamad-Liauw said.
It might be too early to tell, but this may in turn increase supplement consumption.
Herbalife reported total net sales of US$356 million in Q3 2020 for the APAC region, an increase of 9.6% from Q3 2019.