'Healthies' not 'selfies': Report finds health is the new status symbol

'Healthies' not 'selfies': Report finds health is the new status symbol

A report funded by Pacific Magazines on Australia’s health trends shows that health has grown into the new status symbol and beacon of aspiration.

The report released this morning surveyed 60,000 people over the last three years and finds that health is the new aspirational achievement, with Australians working to at least be perceived as having a healthy body and mind.

The five trends to arise were; a move towards ‘health esteem’ and ‘healthy selfies’; people earning their treats rather than indulging; a favouring of natural ingredients and move away from glutten, hormones, dairy or wheat; an equal desire for a healthy mind and body; and finally, customisable, personalised health products.

The report was developed by Pacific Insights for Women’s Health, Men’s Health, Prevention and Bike Magazine. Women’s Health and Prevention were some of the few magazine titles to see an increase in readership in the most recent circulation figures.

Women’s Health editor Sue Wheeler told B&T she believes the readership rise is thanks to both the increasing trend in health, and the magazine’s own publishing style. “[We're] not just churning out information simply because there is a growing interest," she said.

"The fact our healthy lifestyle titles reach almost a million people every month is testament to the way in which our teams know and engage with their audiences. The report suggests that health-focused content should be bucking the trend.”

The increasing social value of health is explained by the publisher’s strategy and planning director Miriam Condon as coming from a recent reevaluation of priorities thanks to the GFC, increased life expectancy, more mindful investments with the benefits of healthy living outweighing the costs, along with the celebrity culture, and tech innovations.

“Not surprisingly health, and health knowledge, has become a status symbol,” Condon said.

Condon told B&T brands that aren’t directly tied to the field can tap into the trends and capitalise on the ‘health revolution’.  

“Consumers want to be associated with the health revolution so brands have an opportunity to be part of this,” she said.

However, with the influx of brands jumping on the bandwagon, some are apparently seeing far more success than others. "There’s a great opportunity if done authentically but it could be risky if brands don’t deliver on their health promise or give conflicting messages. Authenticity is still important as a consumer trend and especially so in health."

“This can make it a confusing landscape for consumers to navigate – hence ‘brand butlers’ such as magazines and other curators of products and information are important.”

“For consumers health-spiration is hopefully creating a generation that’s savvier, smarter, more active, influencing how we shop, eat and socialise.”

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