PETALING JAYA: A vast majority of Malaysian respondents became more health conscious as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a survey.

Up to 75% of Malaysian respondents have shifted their health priorities after the pandemic with a greater focus on living a healthy, active lifestyle, and achieving a holistic approach to health.

This was according to the Asia-Pacific Health Priority Survey conducted by Herbalife, a health and wellness company and community.

The recently released findings revealed that 79% of Malaysian respondents became more health conscious as a result of the pandemic.

According to the survey, Malaysian respondents also shared that improving overall health (60%), building healthy eating habits (52%) and improving mental health (50%) are the top three health goals they aspire to achieve, followed by becoming fitter (50%) and enhancing immunity (49%).

The survey further revealed that different generations have varied priorities for improving their health. Across the Asia-Pacific, older respondents such as Generation X and Boomers are more focused on strengthening their immunity (50%), compared with the younger Generation Z and Millennials (42%). On the other hand, 46% of the younger generation consider improving their mental health a crucial part of their health goals, while only 34% of the older generation shared the same.

Also, while 92% of Malaysian consumers surveyed are taking steps to work on their health goals, a lack of finances (49%) and a lack of time (48%) have been the top challenges preventing them from working towards their goals. To overcome these challenges, an overwhelming majority (61%) of Malaysian respondents recognise the importance of having a support group in their health and wellness journey.

Steven Chin, Senior Director/General Manager of Herbalife Malaysia and Singapore said: “Recognising the increased focus of Malaysians on prioritising their health and achieving their wellness goals, Herbalife is committed to supporting this through our wide range of nutritional products and dedicated distributors who offer personalised coaching and a supportive community that motivates people to embrace a healthier, more active lifestyle.

“We also run various programmes such Herbalife Month in March and the upcoming Herbalife Run, to help Malaysians adopt healthy active living habits while nurturing community support for achieving their goals.”

With consumers in Malaysia becoming more health conscious, it is not surprising that many of them (75%) are willing to increase their spending related to health and wellness. On average, up to 39% of Malaysians respondents indicated that they would be willing to spend 6% to 10% more.

Recognising the importance of investing in health, Malaysians respondents also shared how they would like to use their increased expenditure to:

• make healthier food choices (61%)

• purchase / consume dietary supplements (56%)

• go for regular health check-ups (46%)

• seek mental health consultation (26%)

• engage experts for advice (24%)

It is clear from these survey results, Malaysians appreciate the key role that nutrition plays in maintaining long-term health and vitality.

When it comes to pursuing health goals or making positive lifestyle changes, it can be challenging to stay committed and motivated along the way. As such, a support group plays an important role in overcoming challenges to increase the odds of reaching goals, a sentiment that was shared by Malaysian respondents (61%). The perceived benefits of a support group include:

• providing guidance and encouragement (58%)

• sharing of valuable experience and knowledge (54%)

• reaching out for health-related advice (53%)

• accountability on their health journeys (43%)

Conducted in April 2023, Herbalife’s Health Priority Survey polled 5,504 consumers aged 18 to 78 across 11 Asia Pacific markets, including Malaysia, Australia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.