For Immediate Release
New Survey Reveals Dieting a Constant Concern
Majority of Americans Think about Dieting Year-Round; Number of Dieting Attempts on the Rise
ATLANTA (February 1, 2008) – For more than 95 million American adults, dieting is a constant concern, reveals a new national survey. Nearly two-thirds (62%) of people trying to control weight think about dieting year-round and that number is even higher among dieters (70%).
Although the percentage of people who are dieting has declined (from 33 percent in 2004 to 29 percent in 2007), the number of dieting attempts is on the rise. In 2004, on average, just 2.5 dieting attempts were made by dieters during the year, compared with almost four attempts made in 2007 – a significant increase. In more than 15 years, this is the greatest number of dieting attempts made by dieters in a one-year period, according to the Calorie Control Council, which has been tracking dieting and weight control habits in the U.S. since 1984.
Although 9 out of 10 (88%) dieters say they have been successful in losing weight, 46 percent say they need to lose 10 pounds or more (also a significant increase since 2004). So, with the number of dieting attempts and people saying they need to lose weight escalating, and with dieting being a year-round obsession for many, just what are people doing to control their weight? Among dieters, cutting down on foods high in sugar remains the top weight control strategy at 87 percent. Other methods include:
- Exercise (83%)
- Eating smaller portions of favorite foods (82%)
- Using low-calorie, reduced-sugar and sugar-free foods and beverages, including those sweetened with sucralose (80%)
- Combining calorie reduction with exercise (73%)
Although the percentage of dieters who skip meals (32%) has increased significantly since 2004 (23%), on a brighter note, the number of dieters following a restrictive weight loss program (such as the Atkins diet program) has decreased from 20 percent in 2004 to 13 percent in 2007.
“The good news is that overall, dieters are using practical, sensible strategies for weight control,” notes Beth Hubrich a dietitian with the Council. For the “on-again, off-again dieters,” Hubrich suggests, “Making lifestyle changes – changes people can live with over the long-term is a winning weight control strategy. The bottom line is that diets don’t work in the long run. Incorporating products sweetened with sucralose (also known as SPLENDA®) to cut calories and taking the stairs instead of the elevator are small changes that can make a big difference.”
In addition to the sixty-five million people who say they are on a diet, another 88 million adult Americans (55%) are trying to control their weight.And when it comes to the number one reason for being overweight, most people blame a lack of exercise (94%). Other top reasons for being overweight include, poor eating habits (91%), lack of portion control (86%), eating too many calories (83%), and lack of willpower (81%).
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The 2007 survey findings are based on a nationally projectable sample of 1,200 Americans age 18 and older. The sample reliability is +/- 2.8 percent. The survey was completed in June by Booth Research Services, Inc., for the Calorie Control Council, a non-profit international association of manufacturers of low-calorie, reduced-fat and light foods and beverages.