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Survey on Americans and Colds

By Marian Zboraj | December 12, 2007

 ‘Tis the season, which for many people not only means holiday fun and festivities, but also the season for germs and viruses which can put a damper on merry making. In a recent survey of American adults conducted by Booth Research, nearly two-thirds of respondents volunteered that they catch a cold once or twice annually.    

What to take if you do catch a cold? Nearly three out of four survey respondents (71%) prefer taking natural remedies to prescription medications. Of these respondents, an overwhelming 85% take vitamin C or ester C, followed by zinc and echinacea (tied at 32%).  

The majority (62%) of individuals polled believe that most colds are preventable. Frequent hand washing and taking immune-boosting vitamins were cited as common preventive measures. Cleanliness ranked as the top preventive measure, while use of vitamin C and multivitamins were the products most frequently mentioned for illness prevention. Lack of sleep (83%) and stress (81%) were cited as likely causes of colds.  

“The survey respondents are on target with doing the right things,” according to Mark Moyad, MD, University of Michigan Medical Center’s Director of Complementary and Preventive Medicine. “The winter season can wreak havoc on your immune system,” he says. “Holiday travel often includes car trips, plane flights and hotel stays, combined with less healthy eating and patterns, giving you a great recipe for catching a cold.”   

To stay well, Dr. Moyad encourages people to use the following tips year-round:
  • Wash hands frequently.  
  • Eat a healthy diet rich in vitamins C and E.  
  • Get a good night’s sleep.  
  • Stay hydrated.   
  • Supplement vitamin intake with Ester-C vitamin C.  
  • Exercise regularly.  
The survey was conducted by Booth Research of 1005 U.S. adults with a sample reliability of plus or minus 3.1%. All interviews were conducted via the Internet during September 2007. Qualified respondents were males and females at least 18 years of age. The sample for this study was provided by Global Market Insight and was a national sample of online panel respondents. Data were weighted by sex, age and region to produce nationally projectable sample proportions.

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