9

votes

Paleo Community Survey - Which results surprised you the most?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 31, 2011 at 4:22 PM

I was super excited to see the 2011 Paleo Community Survey results posted over at Naturally Engineered (thanks David et al.!!)

I've been sifting through the responses and demographics and was curious what results other folks found the most surprising. Which of the data was/were eye-opening for you? Which data point(s) was/were different from what you would have expected?

77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on April 01, 2011
at 02:38 PM

Kinda like when somebody does a "low carb" study with 300g per day of carbs going into the low-carb group. =P

77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on April 01, 2011
at 02:37 PM

I'd like to know exactly what "lifting weights" means. I'd wager that there is a wide range of activities that people are counting as "lifting weights."

03f5a69fde4012b827ebdb6d93b71e7a

(2007)

on April 01, 2011
at 01:35 AM

Yeah I said the same for sweeteners, I use them pretty rarely but still had to say Yes.

6a4fd73b4ae4761eefec8e0d38e6f224

(1008)

on March 31, 2011
at 08:33 PM

Now that you mention it, my patience for my desk job has diminished considerably since I cut everything processed from my diet. It's like the sugar sedation has worn off, and I've woken up to realize I don't actually want to be sitting here all day.

D30ff86ad2c1f3b43b99aed213bcf461

on March 31, 2011
at 06:47 PM

I too was struck by the blog dominance - though this was a survey conducted online and publicized via blogs, Twitter, etc. so it's no surprise to me that those in the paleo community who are active online players would also draw a lot of info from blog reading. A little bit of bias - but how many paleo community folks don't use the Internet at all? Very few I'd guess.

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on March 31, 2011
at 05:09 PM

As for carbohydrates, starch blew up in late 2010/2011 (Paul Jaminet/Kurt Harris) so I'm pretty sure that number will go up in 2012 survey.

9cfa1ab909f6f89544be665d4ef6e3ea

on March 31, 2011
at 04:55 PM

Good threads for the budget-minded: http://paleohacks.com/questions/tagged/budget

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8 Answers

5
47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on September 07, 2013
at 12:44 AM

I'm kind of surprised by what you all are surprised by! Lol.

Here are my things:

  1. 28% of respondents were vegetarians at one point? I mean, I knew that a lot of us were former vegetarians, but 28%? That's kind of big.

  2. 68% lift weights? That's kind of an impressive number.

  3. I don't remember exactly how it was on the survey, but I'm a bit confused about the added sweeteners question. If you add up all the figures for the different kinds of sweeteners there (as I did because I'm crazy) you get 91.25%. I really don't think that means that only 8.75% are going without sweetener altogether, like me. So is it then the 2,915 who didn't answer the question who are the sweetener-free? That would put those who don't use sweeteners at 48%, I believe -- which maybe sounds about right? I guess I could ask David.

And if I asked in each of these three cases, as Familygrok did in her comment to Jack, if there's any reason for a bias, I don't think there is. Are paleos who took the survey more or less likely than paleos who didn't take the survey to have been vegetarians? To lift weights? To use sweeteners? I wouldn't think so.

Well, pretty interesting results, thanks David C.

77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on April 01, 2011
at 02:38 PM

Kinda like when somebody does a "low carb" study with 300g per day of carbs going into the low-carb group. =P

77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on April 01, 2011
at 02:37 PM

I'd like to know exactly what "lifting weights" means. I'd wager that there is a wide range of activities that people are counting as "lifting weights."

5
Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18452)

on March 31, 2011
at 05:02 PM

Thanks for the follow up on this!

I found the following quite surprising:

  • that almost 69% have switched to Paleo in the last 2 years and nearly 80% in the last 3 years. That's a HUGE growth curve

  • that a full 25% of Paleo people do not believe that it is sustainable to feed a large scale population.

  • 56% of people claim to eat less than 50 carbs per day. I did not think that many Paleo eaters were on that low of carbs.

Maybe not surprising, but very interesting at least:

  • that blogs are dominating how people both a) are being connected with Paleo and B) like to learn about Paleo once connected.

I think this is important for building perceived credibility regarding the worthiness of blogged info, although it's still certainly true that many blogs are mostly unreliable sources.

I also thought it was a bit sad or just a bummer that 90% of people do not have a physically active job.

Nice outlook for Paleo Survey 2012 though!

D30ff86ad2c1f3b43b99aed213bcf461

on March 31, 2011
at 06:47 PM

I too was struck by the blog dominance - though this was a survey conducted online and publicized via blogs, Twitter, etc. so it's no surprise to me that those in the paleo community who are active online players would also draw a lot of info from blog reading. A little bit of bias - but how many paleo community folks don't use the Internet at all? Very few I'd guess.

6a4fd73b4ae4761eefec8e0d38e6f224

(1008)

on March 31, 2011
at 08:33 PM

Now that you mention it, my patience for my desk job has diminished considerably since I cut everything processed from my diet. It's like the sugar sedation has worn off, and I've woken up to realize I don't actually want to be sitting here all day.

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on March 31, 2011
at 05:09 PM

As for carbohydrates, starch blew up in late 2010/2011 (Paul Jaminet/Kurt Harris) so I'm pretty sure that number will go up in 2012 survey.

2
3b803506ca7d7b5796bc16ee5b9f11d3

on March 31, 2011
at 05:47 PM

I found the whole pretty interesting, but have to admit I was mildly surprised to see that around 75% have a degree and about 90% at least some college. I had this idea that it's probably not likely that an Educated segment of the population could actually drive adoption of what some people would still characterize as yet another "fad diet". Call me silly but I feel encouraged.

1
24fcc21452ebe39c032be6801d6bbadd

(9812)

on March 31, 2011
at 11:51 PM

I was a little (pleasantly) surprised by how many people getting the higher quality groceries, and a little surprised that most were so low-carb; I thought it would be more around 100g a day average. I was pleased to see the education demographics; I've definitely observed that paleo attracts the smarties, so that one wasn't surprising to me! I was one of the few with an Associate's; I'm on the 12 year plan ;)

1
A68f24168bc0de414a038037e287b581

on March 31, 2011
at 10:55 PM

Statistics are great, but also misleading.

I use sweeteners VERY rarely. But I felt i had to admit to it - so my point was the same as someone's who is using a sweetener every day. same with vegetarianism - I was one for five years in high school and right after... that was almost fifteen years ago. I feel it's not that relevant anymore.

Checking the data is really interesting. I was glad to see that male/female ration is more or less equal, it fights against the notion that women wouldn't want the meat-rich, wild "cavemen" diet...

Contrary to some discussions we had here, quite a number of people believe in paleo as a global solution, which is great (I believe in that myself).

It's amazing how fast growing the movement is! Just wait five years... :)

One thing that I liked especially is the absolutely overwhelming improvement in health. YAY!

03f5a69fde4012b827ebdb6d93b71e7a

(2007)

on April 01, 2011
at 01:35 AM

Yeah I said the same for sweeteners, I use them pretty rarely but still had to say Yes.

1
74f5d2ff6567edd456d31dfb9b92af61

(5227)

on March 31, 2011
at 10:05 PM

I, too, was surprised by all the reformed vegetarians (spoken, of course, as someone who went directly from vegetarian to Paleo).

What really stood out to me was the number of respondents eat organic meat/eggs. It's generally assumed that organics are a luxury of the wealthy -- are paleos more affluent, or do we elect to spend much of our income on higher quality food? Then again, with so many of us having college educations, perhaps the two are linked? :) (I, personally, am a college student, so I'm poorer'n dirt. But, I still choose to buy organic meat/eggs! :D)

1
98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

on March 31, 2011
at 06:53 PM

I was most shocked that almost no one is divorced! Paleo is good for marriage?

I was also quite surprised to see that most are low carb. I found that very interesting because my perception was that most are taking in 100+ and I was in the minority with my low carb ways.

1
Medium avatar

(12379)

on March 31, 2011
at 04:41 PM

Great timely publishing of the results was fantastic!

I was pleasantly suprised with the male:female ratio of respondents. I was also suprised by how many people's families do not adhere to the paleo diet (how hard must that be!)

I would like to find the 'cost-unchanged" since starting the paleo diet people and pick their brains.

Yay! A lot of us believe in the 'sustainability' of our diet!

9cfa1ab909f6f89544be665d4ef6e3ea

on March 31, 2011
at 04:55 PM

Good threads for the budget-minded: http://paleohacks.com/questions/tagged/budget

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