One Quarter of Americans Currently Dieting

One Quarter of Americans Currently Dieting

Nearly one-fourth (23.6%) of Americans say they are “currently dieting,” and people who are trying to lose weight are more likely to be White women who live in the Northeast region of the US, according to data from Experian Simmons.

Results from the 2008 Simmons National Consumer Study/Simmons National Hispanic Consumer Study reveal that the most common new year’s resolution in the US is to lose weight. This may be a good idea, Experian Simmons said,  since more than a third of the adult population is overweight and another 25% is considered obese as defined by the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC). This makes 60% of the population potential targets for diets.

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In terms of specific dieter demographics, women – by a large margin (64% vs. 36% of men) – account for the majority of those who are currently dieting.

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Additonal demographic findings about dieters:

  • Those most likely to be dieting reside in the Northeast region of the US.  Americans who reside in the Midwest are the least likely to diet.
  • Americans age 35-44 are 12% more likely to be dieting than the other age groups, while those age 18-24 are 20% less likely to be dieting.
  • White adults are more likely than the average US adult to report themselves as “currently dieting,” while members of other major racial/ethnic groups are less likely than the average US adult.
  • Americans earning $50K+ per year are more likely to report that they are dieting.

Dieting and Exercise Go Hand-in-Hand
Nearly two-thirds (63.4%) of adults who report they are currently dieting say they also are exercising. Though some go to outside facilities to work out, most report exercising in their home:

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Despite Diets, Treats are Important

Though most dieters report eating low-fat, fat-free or diet items while they are trying to lose weight, the top five “treat” items items eaten on diets are sorbet/ice cream, mayonnaise, margarine, crackers and cookies:

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Dieting/Health Top of Mind

While dieting, Americans report being open  to trying new health food and diets, and are willling to spend money to look younger:

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