Healthy Eating, Americans Want to Do it

New research claims Americans don’t want to diet, they’d rather adopt a healthy lifestyle. Andrew Stern of Reuters reports:
Dieting has fallen out of favor while trying to eat more healthfully is in, a marketing research firm that tracks what Americans consume said on Friday.


Twenty-nine percent of women and 19 percent of men are on diets, based on the responses of 26,000 American adults, compared to 10 years ago when 35 percent of women and 23 percent of men said they were dieting, according to Port Washington, New York-based NPD Group Inc.

"The problem with diets is most people feel deprived, or they're disappointed with the results. Of course, results will come if you stick with it," NPD Vice President Harry Balzer said in a telephone interview. "But people see dieting as not a long-term healthful way to live."

Improving overall health was the prime motivation for 68 percent of those on a diet, according to the survey, which was sponsored by the Milk Processor Education Program, promoter of the "Got Milk?" advertising campaign.
Not surprising, and, it is encouraging, because as Dr. Fuhrman points out in his book Eat to Live, diets fail, at an alarming rate. Here’s an excerpt:
The National Institutes of Health estimate that obesity is associated with a twofold increase in mortality, costing society more than $100 billion per year.1 This is especially discouraging for the dieter because after spending so much money attempting to lose weight, 95 percent percent of them gain all the weight back and then add on even more pounds within three years.2 This incredibly high failure rate holds true for the vast majority of weight-loss schemes, programs, and diets.
For more on why “dieting” is a big waste of time. Check out this podcast: Why All Diets Fail.
1. Bender, R., C. Trautnet, M. Spraul, and M. Berger. 1998. Assessment of excess mortality in obesity. Am. J. Epidemiol. 147 (1): 42–48; Wolf, A. M., and G. A. Colditz. 1998. Current estimates of the economic cost of obesity in the United States. Obes. Res. 6 (2): 97–106.

2. Foryet, J. Limitations of behavioral treatment of obesity: review and analysis. 1981. J. Behav. Med. 4: 159–73.
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st - January 8, 2008 3:53 PM

I think that most diets that sell do so because of how they're advertised. "Healthy eating" is nothing but a perpetual diet. I definitely don't think that less Americans are dieting now than they were ten years ago, they're just calling it a different name now so that like you said they feel less "deprived." Thanks for the post.

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