Results of the First Ever Get Healthy Utah Values Study

April 17, 2017

In 2016 Get Healthy Utah contracted with Envision Utah and Heart+Mind Strategies to conduct the Get Healthy Utah Values Study.  This study is the first of its kind to look at values related to healthy behaviors.  The values research process began with in-depth in interviewing in December 2016.  These interviews explored thought patterns and associations related to health and healthy behaviors.  This process was followed by laddering, which peels back the layers of importance in decision making to identify the most significant attributes, the emotional benefits of those attributes, and the driving personal values they feed.  Using the results of the interviewing, an online survey was developed, distributed, and completed by over 1,000 Utahns.  The survey results highlight priorities, strategies, and messaging concerns.

For decades lots of important and successful work has been done to address obesity through efforts to increase physical activity and healthy eating.  However, the rate of obesity continues to rise.  The Utah Health Values Study is a tool to help reframe and rethink how we approach this complex problem and help create a culture of health for all Utahns.

Values-based messaging has been proven effective across a wide variety of topics. To motivate people to change behavior, it is important to communicate both the rational reasons for the change and the emotional motivators that are tied to one’s personal values. The results provide a powerful guide for communicating in ways that can produce real change.

Here are a few highlights from the study results:

  • Obesity is ranked as a low priority for Utahns.  Healthy living is a moderate priority.

  • Utahns underestimate the amount of overweight and obesity in Utah and incorrectly categorize their own weight.


  • A lack of time, energy, and convenience makes it difficult for people to get physical activity and eat right.


  • Schools are seen as the most influential way to address healthy eating and physical activity in Utah.

  • Community and workplace initiatives are also seen as important.

  • The most impactful initiatives increase opportunities for physical activity and healthy eating (for example, setting aside time for physical activity at school and work and providing easy access for places to be active in the community).



  • Messaging based in underlying values can have high success reaching people.




Get Healthy Utah Health Values Study Results 

  Get Healthy Utah Messaging Guide


**To reference the Get Healthy Utah Values Study, please use the following citation:

Heart+Mind Strategies (2017).  Utah Health Priorities Research. Retrieved DATE from Get Healthy Utah Website:

Do you have questions about the Get Healthy Utah Values Study?  Contact Get Healthy Utah at