USA WEEKEND Survey Defines a Generation of Changes

Dec 22, 2010, 06:00 ET from USA WEEKEND Magazine

The Personal Computer Changed Lives for the Better; Gourmet Coffee and Princess Diana are Tops; Looking Ahead, Tattoo Regrets Could Fuel New Professions

MCLEAN, Va., Dec. 22, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- This past September, as part of USA WEEKEND Magazine's 25th anniversary celebration, readers were invited to share what influenced them most over the past quarter century. More than 6,000 readers completed the survey and commented. Full results will be announced in the December 26 edition of the newspaper magazine.

Results show that over the past 25 years, USA WEEKEND readers were influenced by the personal computer, cell phones, the passing of Princess Diana, Harry Potter, gourmet coffee, and Forrest Gump. Survey results include these findings:

  • We have a love/hate relationship with our cell phones.  64% say cell phones changed their lives for the better, but at 33%, it was also the #1 invention that changed the lives of readers for the worse.
  • Readers trimmed the fat from their diets, but not the fun. Fat-free food is the favorite food trend of 26% of our readers and cholesterol-lowering drugs were the medical advance that made 41% of our readers lives better.  But the #1 favorite food trend for readers is gourmet coffee (29%), followed by the aforementioned fat-free food and then the guilty pleasures of cupcakes ranked #3 at 15%.
  • The sudden unexpected deaths of two youthful and promising figures had a profound effect on 50% of our readers. Princess Diana and John F. Kennedy, Jr. ranked #1 and 2, with Pope John Paul II, who died at the age of 84, in third place.
  • In light of today's challenging economy, the survey revealed a potential growth area for employment. Tattoos ranked as the #1 least-favorite fashion trend of the last 25 years, leading one reader to note, "the best future profession for making money will be tattoo removal."

The survey was announced in the September 12 issue of USA WEEKEND, inviting readers to log onto to share their thoughts on the past 25 years and be entered to win one of 25 prizes.  The multiple-choice questionnaire was open to the public from Sunday, Sept. 12 to Monday, Sept. 20. Full results can be found in December 26 editions of the newsmagazine and online at

Celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2010, USA WEEKEND is a national weekly newspaper magazine with 22.6 million circulation and 47 million readers in print and online.  It is distributed through more than 800 newspapers. Awarded for its journalism and design, USA WEEKEND focuses on social issues, entertainment, health, food and travel. It has an expanded presence in the social media arena with active participation on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. USA WEEKEND is a Gannett Co. Inc. (NYSE: GCI) publication.