Many Americans Fed Up With Fad Diets

Survey suggests specialized regimens are falling out of favor

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WEDNESDAY, Sept. 27, 2006 (HealthDay News) -- Americans seem to have lost their appetite for fad diets, a new national survey finds.

More than two-thirds (69 percent) of respondents said they're less likely to try a specialized or fad diet today compared to five years ago. Men are more skeptical than women of fad regimens, the survey found.

The poll, released Wednesday by the nonprofit group America On the Move, involved 2,339 adults age 18 or older. It found that many people do understand that eating less and being active is the best way to be healthy. A majority of respondents also believe business and government can play an important role in encouraging people to adopt healthy lifestyles.

Some other survey results:

  • Two-thirds of those surveyed said they'd started a new weight-loss or control program or diet at least once within the past five years. Sixty-five percent said those attempts to shed pounds failed, however.
  • Seven out of 10 respondents said they're currently doing something to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. Of those, 14 percent said their current diet, activity or program isn't working, and they're frustrated with the lack of success. Another 7 percent said their attempts at weight loss/control are working, but they're not optimistic about long-term success.
  • One-third said that food and beverage companies need to create more choices and more affordable options for healthier foods.
  • Three-quarters of those polled percent said government has a role to play in tackling the obesity problem in the United States and helping people develop healthy lifestyles.

The survey was released during "America on the Move Week," Sept. 23 to Sept. 30, at YMCAs across the country. Americans are encouraged to count the steps they take during this week in order to amass a nationwide total of more than a billion steps.

More information

The American Academy of Family Physicians has more about weight control.

SOURCE: America On the Move, news release, Sept. 27 2006

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