Pulse Check on Health in America: Generational Consumers

Learn how Americans across generations engage with health and wellness, including the impact of finances on health, the growth of holistic wellness and self-care, and the destigmatization of mental health.

Reading Time: 4 minutes

December 18, 2023
Giana Damianos – Research Manager

Health and wellness is a major aspect of consumers’ daily lives. Americans spend a significant amount of time—and money—tending to their health. All brands, both within and outside of the health and wellness space, must understand consumers’ attitudes and behaviors in this key area of their lives.

Fill out the form to download an excerpt from Pulse Check on Health in America: Consumers Across Generations and read below for all the latest insights on this segment.

Pulse Check on Generational Health in America - deck sample

Collage Group’s 2023 Pulse Check on Health in America provides insights across generations to help brands:

    1. Support Americans’ financial struggles
    2. Encourage self-care and holistic wellness
    3. Destigmatize mental health

What surprised us:

A growing number of Americans of every generation are avoiding needed medical care. The share of the population avoiding or delaying care has risen to 51%, an increase of 8 percentage points since 2021. The rates of avoiding care are highest among Gen Z, Millennials, and Gen Xers, but the highest influx in avoiding treatment is among Boomers, with a 12 percentage point change.

Percent of people who said they avoided medical care even if they needed it

Why it matters:

Finances both within and outside of healthcare have real consequences on consumer behavior and health outcomes. To keep Americans healthy (and keep healthcare costs down), brands need to make care more accessible and offer empathetic guidance as consumers navigate the complexities of healthcare. Encouraging preventative care and early intervention is a crucial step in the effort to reduce even greater financial burdens and anxieties in the long run.

The Big Picture: 

    1. Holistic health has gone mainstream. Americans of every generation are prioritizing more foundational aspects of health, like hydration and sleep. Evolving value equations are also driving the push towards more holistic health and wellness.
    2. Mental health is a major priority. Americans desire more conversations and resources directed towards mental health, particularly from brands. Younger generations lead the charge to destigmatize mental health, but older Americans are enthusiastically joining the bandwagon.

Key Insight #1: Support Financial Struggles

Know This:

Finances are a significant pain point impacting Americans’ overall health & wellness. Financial difficulties make proactive care less attainable and make it more likely that people will avoid care and treatment altogether.

Do This:

    • Empathize with Americans’ financial difficulties whether you’re a brand within or outside of healthcare. Support them by offering deals or loyalty program perks.
    • Encourage preventative care by educating on the benefits and potential savings in the long run.
Financial wellness is the #1 area of American dissatisfaction

Key Insight #2: Encourage Self-Care & Holistic Wellness

Know This:

Americans are taking a more holistic approach to their health, prioritizing foundational aspects of wellness like healthier eating and drinking and getting better sleep. And for the first time in 2023, these priorities now outrank weight management.

Do This:

Shift your messaging from shame and restriction to empowerment. Today’s consumers desirea gentler approach to improving health. Equip them with tips and products based on foundational aspects of wellness. 

Areas of health where sampled people were most focused lately

Key Insight #3: Destigmatize Mental Health

Know This:

Gen Z and Millennials have been spearheading the destigmatization of mental health and the normalization of solutions like therapy. But even older Americans in 2023 are coming around to accepting — and even desiring — more conversation on the topic, particularly from brands.

Do This:

    • Prioritize the role of mental health in your brand’s marketing strategy. Whether your brand is in the health and wellness field or not, this is a universally applicable topic that is salient to Americans across generations.
      • Think this: How mental health connects to your industry. For example, makeup brands can connect to unrealistic beauty standards causing low self-esteem; sports brands can connect to burnout.
      • Try this: Raise awareness and/or give back to the community to work towards the destigmatization of mental health.
61% of Americans wish brands would do more to reduce the stigma around mental health

Contact us today learn how you can partner with us on the journey to cultural fluency and engaging diverse America.

Other Recent Generational Research Articles & Insights from Collage Group

Giana Damianos

Giana Damianos

Giana joined Collage in 2019 from Indiana University, where she studied economics, political science and psychology. In her spare time, Giana is getting to know Washington DC and its historic architecture.

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