LONDON: While almost half (47%) of British consumers say they have become more health conscious in the past 12 months, just 27% feel informed about health issues, and a new report argues that food and drinks brands have an opportunity to fill that gap.

According to a survey of more than 2,000 UK adults by NewsCred, a global content marketing platform, three-quarters (76%) say brands have a responsibility to provide consumers with health-related content and almost two-thirds (65%) say "it's about time" they did so.

Brands stand to gain from the move, the report suggested, because 29% of respondents say such an approach has improved their opinion of brands while 46% believe brands genuinely help consumers by offering more health-related content.

Rising obesity is the number one health issue for nearly half (48%) of respondents and this is the key area they would like brands to address with content.

Over three-quarters (77%) agree that is it "highly appropriate for brands to provide health information" and 70% believe brands should provide health content because they can tap into the expert knowledge they have about their products.

When asked about the types of health content they wish to see more of from brands, information about fat and sugar content (41%) tops the list of respondents' concerns followed by condition-specific information (40%).

Rounding out the top five health topics in demand are disease prevention (37%), nutrition (35%) and age group-specific advice (34%).

However, British consumers seem reasonably content about the amount of information they receive on calories counts – only 26% want more of this content.

"[This] report shows that the opportunity to make a difference to the state of the UK's health gives a new meaning to content marketing," said Shafqat Islam, CEO of NewsCred.

"Progress is achievable by understanding what consumers place their trust in and analysing how you can translate that into trust in your brand – and content."

Data sourced from NewsCred; additional content by Warc staff