Yankelovich Inc. has come up with a 25-category system that uses information about attitudes, behaviors and personal characteristics to predict how U.S. adults will respond to wellness programs.[@@]

Yankelovich, Chapel Hill, N.C., is basing its new Prevention, Understanding, Life Styles & Education profiling product on 6,000 responses to a 35-minute, Web-based survey conducted in March.

Researchers used the survey results to break consumers down into 4 major categories.

About 33% of U.S. adults take their health for granted, and 29% are willing to take action only when faced with a crisis, Yankelovich researchers report.

About 9% of participants “know what they should do” but “lack the discipline and willpower to stick with a healthy routine,” the researchers say.

Only 30% of consumers seem to regularly engage in behaviors that promote wellness, the researchers say.

The researchers note, for example, that only 33% of obese U.S. adults are trying to lose weight. They suggest that weight-loss messages focusing on looks may work best for consumers with little interest in their health, while messages focusing on the financial implications of obesity may work best for “middle of the road” consumers who find that behaving more healthily is easier said than done.

In addition to weight management, the PULSE survey included questions about topics such as tobacco use, quality of sleep, stress management and access to health insurance, Yankelovich says.