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Who Are All These Crazy Paleo People??

April 1, 2011

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Photo by felipe_gabaldon

David Csonka, over at Naturally Engineered, just published the results of the first Paleo Community Survey. Over 6,000 people responded! I found it very interesting to see how the rest of the paleo community lives, and what the demographics are.

Young’uns, and not all male…

It’s promising that there are so many people in the 21-30 age bracket (37%). This demographic’s kids will be brought up paleo/primal and will have a great healthy start to life. I was surprised the results weren’t more skewed towards the male demographic. In the blogosphere, it seems like there are more paleo guys out there, but perhaps that’s because some of the most well-known proponents of paleo are male.

It’s catching on…

It’s clear from the survey that the paleo/primal lifestyle is also quite young. I believe Cordain’s first Paleo Diet book was published in 2002. Jan Kwasniewski has been encouraging a diet similar to paleo since the 1960’s. And yet only 12% of respondents have been paleo for more than 2 years. The year 2010 was major for the lifestyle, with 43% of people having first heard of it then (including yours truly). The data also shows its increasing popularity – every year, more people hear about it (43% in 2010 vs 26% in 2009 vs 10% in 2008).

It’s no surprise that most people first learned of paleo/primal via blogs. It’s not like this lifestyle pops up in the mainstream every day. But we’re clearly an opportunistic bunch, with 40% of us believing that paleo will actually go mainstream.

“Low Carb” vs “Very Low Carb”

It was interesting to me that although I consider one of the defining aspects of primal/paleo to be low-carb, 44% of the community doesn’t eat a low-carb diet. I’d think that once you cut out grains, the carb consumption would decrease sufficiently to be considered low-carb. However, that may just be because the question defined low-carb as less than 50g, which some might consider to be “very low carb”, with low carb being more in the 50g-100g range.

Why we do it…

And finally, the proof is in the pudding – 86% of the paleo community has experienced improved health on the paleo/primal diet (with obesity, allergies and IBS being the most common improvements).

I look forward to future years’ results, as both the paleo community and survey grow! Kudos to Dave for putting the survey together, to the bloggers who posted about it, and the community for taking the time to participate!  :)

What did you think of the survey and its results?

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