New 23andMe Health + Ancestry Service Customer Survey Conducted by M/A/R/C

Research: 76 Percent of Respondents Report Making a Positive Behavior Change After Getting 23andMe Results

Changes include diet, exercise, sleep and setting future health goals

SUNNYVALE, Calif. — OCTOBER 16, 2019 — More than three-quarters of respondents to a survey of 23andMe Health + Ancestry customers said they’d taken at least one positive step to improve their health after receiving 23andMe genetic reports, according to a new survey fielded by M/A/R/C® Research.

In the survey, designed by 23andMe and M/A/R/C, external researchers asked Health + Ancestry Service customers about the overall impact of their 23andMe experience, regardless of their results. Among those who responded to the survey, 76 percent said they made one or more changes related to health. Of those who responded to the survey:

  • 55 percent reported healthier eating habits.
  • 45 percent said they were exercising more.
  • 42 percent said they were getting more sleep.
  • 50 percent reported they’ve adopted a healthier lifestyle generally.

Of those who reported eating healthier: 

  • 83 percent reported eating more vegetables.
  • 71 percent reported reducing processed food consumption.
  • 69 percent reported eating smaller portions.
  • 67 percent reported reducing overall calorie intake.
  • 57 percent reported reducing fast food consumption.

Further, respondents noted the desire to make future changes, with 51 percent of respondents reporting they’ve set future goals to be healthier.  

“We’re encouraged by these preliminary findings, and they’ve spurred us to embark on more comprehensive research into behavior change as a result of our service,” said Joyce Tung, Ph.D., 23andMe Vice President of Research. “We have heard anecdotally from many customers about how their 23andMe results have positively impacted their lives. We’d like to gather more data on the impact of our service, and hopefully learn how best to help our customers.”

The survey, conducted online by M/A/R/C Research over two weeks in August 2019, included responses from 1,046 23andMe Health + Ancestry customers. While respondents are not representative of the US general population as a whole, the survey does offer preliminary insights worth studying further into how 23andMe reports may be a motivator for healthy behavior change.   

23andMe hopes to conduct follow-up studies to more rigorously measure factors related to behavior change.

“As a primary care doctor I am excited any time a patient is engaged and proactive about their health,” said Mylynda Massart, M.D., Ph.D, an Assistant Professor of Family Medicine, at the University of Pittsburgh’s Department of Family Medicine. 

Dr. Massart currently serves as the Medical Director at UPMC Matilda Theiss Family Health Center and has a family practice with special interest in primary care genetics.

“The data from 23andMe’s survey is promising,” she said. “I look forward to seeing more research not just from 23andMe but other groups looking at whether receiving genetic information truly motivates healthy behavioral change.” 

About M/A/R/C® Research

M/A/R/C Research is a marketing research and consulting firm, headquartered in Irving, TX. M/A/R/C designs and conducts research initiatives, providing insights that enable clients to make smarter, faster decisions to run their business. 

About 23andMe

23andMe, Inc. is the leading consumer genetics and research company. Founded in 2006, the mission of the company is to help people access, understand and benefit from the human genome. The company was named by TIME as a “Genius Company” in 2018, and featured as Fast Company's #2 Most Innovative Health Company in 2018. 23andMe has millions of customers worldwide, with more than 80 percent of customers consented to participate in research. 23andMe, Inc. is located in Mountain View, CA. More information is available at www.23andMe.com. 

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