The latest report from The NPD Group (Port Washington, N.Y.) finds Baby Boomers in their 50s may face some difficult choices ahead when it comes to their dietary habits. “Profile of American Baby Boomers: Health, Diet and Consumption Behaviors and Attitudes” analyzes eating and diet habits of tens of thousands of people, while examining actual consumption habits, as well as health and diet patterns, of Boomers. Considering the report finds one third of all Boomers are overweight and about 30% are obese, it should come as little shock that one in four (25%) Boomers is on a diet.

Nonetheless, the report also finds Baby Boomers are returning to restaurants. Boomers were the most frequent users of restaurants until they had children, the report recalls, but restaurant usage began to decline among the group once those offspring arrived. With Boomer nests emptying, older Boomers (those in their 50s) have returned to restaurants, though not the same locales as in their youth.

NPD finds burgers and fries at the top of the list for all adults at restaurants, and Boomers are no different. However, Boomers have expanded their mealtime repertoire to include steak, seafood, soup and salad more often than in their younger days.

Interestingly, while Boomers have returned greatly to these cuisines, it is breakfast that may be the major shift. Unlike so many consumers, Boomers are more likely to eat the morning meal. While younger Boomers (those in their 40s) eat about 303 breakfasts in a year, that number increases 6% to 324 for the Boomer crowd in their 50s.

As Harry Balzer, vice president of The NPD Group, notes, expect Boomers to demand foods to improve the healthful aspects of their diet—be it restaurant or retail offerings.

For more information on The NPD Group report, contact Dora Radwick, 516-625-6190 or