Millions of Americans In a Bad Mood This Winter - New Survey Looks At How People React

Survey Finds U.S. Adults Choose Comfort Foods Over Healthful Ones, Sleep

More and Take Sick Days; Women More Proactive Than Men

Dec 05, 2007, 00:00 ET from Pharmavite

    NORTHRIDGE, Calif., Dec. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Each year, an estimated 10 -
 20 percent of Americans experience a seasonal change in their moods(1),
 most often during the winter months, and a new survey conducted by Harris
 Interactive(R)(2) found that people engage in a variety of coping behaviors
 that have both a positive and negative impact on their health, including:
(Photo: -- Sick Days: Adults 18-34 years-old are nearly twice as likely as 45-54 year-olds to stay home from work (13 percent of those ages 18-34 vs. 7 percent of those ages 45-54) -- Down Time: 64 percent of women and 53 percent of men turn to relaxation when feeling down -- Supplements: U.S. adults are almost three times more likely to take a vitamin or supplement (28 percent) than they are to take an anti-depressant (10 percent) -- Sleeping In: When experiencing low mood, 39 percent of adults admit that they sleep more -- Finding Comfort in Food: U.S. adults are more likely to turn to comfort foods (42 percent) than a healthful diet (20 percent) Overall, the survey found that women tend to be more proactive than men when it comes to positive coping mechanisms to enhance overall well-being. More women make time to relax (64 percent versus 53 percent) and seek comfort from family and friends (54 percent versus 45 percent), while men are twice as likely to use negative coping behavior, such as drinking alcohol (18 percent versus 9 percent of women). "Maintaining emotional well-being is one of the most important aspects of overall health. During winter, that can be more challenging with added stress and weather changes," said Elizabeth Somer, MA, RD and author of "Food & Mood," and "The Food & Mood Cookbook." "Choosing options that work with the body, such as physical activity and a healthful diet, can make a big difference." Somer recommends a diet that's complete with mood-enhancing foods, including protein-rich lean meats, complex carbohydrates such as whole wheat bread, omega-3 fatty acids and fruits and vegetables rich in antioxidants. Supplements like SAM-e can also compliment a healthy diet and help restore balance. SAM-e is a naturally occurring molecule produced by the body and is responsible for helping regulate mood. However, due to stress and dietary factors, this compound may tend to decrease. After two decades, studies have shown that SAM-e, a natural compound found in our bodies, is effective in improving and enhancing mood. "I recommend Nature Made(R) MoodPlus(R) SAM-e because it contains a well-studied, high-quality grade of SAM-e," said Somer. Carving out time to relax and take a break from life's daily stressors is another way to deal with low mood. Be sure to get at least seven hours of sleep a night and try out stress management techniques such as yoga, meditation, aromatherapy and deep breathing. To review the full survey data, please email ABOUT PHARMAVITE For more than 30 years, Pharmavite has earned and maintained the trust of pharmacists, consumers, and retailers by manufacturing high-quality vitamins, minerals, herbs and other dietary supplements that are safe, effective and science-based. As an industry leader, Pharmavite adheres to manufacturing standards recommended by the United States Pharmacopeia (USP), a not-for-profit organization that has set pharmaceutical and dietary supplement quality standards since 1820. In addition, Pharmavite participates in USP's Verification Program for dietary supplements. The dietary supplement industry is regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission, as well as by government agencies in each of the 50 states. ABOUT HARRIS INTERACTIVE Harris Interactive is the 13th largest and one of the fastest-growing market research firms in the world. The company provides innovative research, insights and strategic advice to help its clients make more confident decisions which lead to measurable and enduring improvements in performance. Harris Interactive is widely known for The Harris Poll, one of the longest running, independent opinion polls and for pioneering online market research methods. The company has built what it believes to be the world's largest panel of survey respondents, the Harris Poll Online. Harris Interactive serves clients worldwide through its North American, European and Asian offices, and through a global network of independent market research firms. More information about Harris Interactive may be obtained at To become a member of the Harris Poll Online and be invited to participate in online surveys, register at About the survey This Winter Blues study was conducted online within the United States on behalf of Pharmavite LLC between October 16 and October 18, 2007 among 2,981 U.S. adults ages 18+. Results were weighted as needed for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region, and household income. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online. All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, Harris Interactive avoids the words "margin of error" as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal. Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Interactive surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the U.S. adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to be invited to participate in the Harris Interactive online research panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. Harris Interactive conducted this online survey on behalf of Pharmavite LLC between October 16 and October 18, 2007 among 2,981 adults ages 18+. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no theoretical estimates of sampling error can be calculated. For complete methodology, including weighting variables, please contact 323-988-4664. (1) American Psychiatric Association (2) On behalf of Nature Made MoodPlus SAM-e

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