More than 4 in 10 Americans Resolve Weight Loss

February 22, 2011

This article is included in these additional categories:

Analytics, Automated & MarTech | Boomers & Older | Data-driven | Food & Restaurants | Men | Pharma & Healthcare | Radio | Women | Youth & Gen X

harris-weight-loss-resolution-age-gender-feb11.gifLosing weight is a popular 2011 New Year’s resolution among Americans, according to results of a new Harris Poll. Forty-four percent of US adults have made losing weight one of their resolutions for 2011.

Boomers, Women Most Likely to Resolve

Dividing poll respondents into demographic groups based on gender and age, results show the groups most likely to resolve to lose weight are women and Baby Boomers age 47-65 (47% each), closely followed by Gen Xers age 35-46 (46%).

Matures age 66 and older (35%) are the least likely to make a weight loss resolution by a substantial margin, followed by men (40%).

1 in 5 Report Weight-related Health Issues

harris-health-issue-from-weight-age-gender-feb11.gifOverall, about one in five US adults (19%) reports having health issues related to their weight. Only one in 10 Echo Boomers age 18-34 reports weight-related health issues, as do 18% of men.

On the other side of the equation, 27% of Baby Boomers report health issues caused by weight, with no other demographic approaching this rate of frequency.

Doctors Tell 1 in 3 to Lose Weight

harris-doctor-advise-about-weight-age-gender-feb11.gifAbout one in three US adults (32%) has been told by a doctor to lose weight. Baby Boomers (41%) and Matures (39%) are most likely to report receiving medical advice about their weight. Only 17% of Echo Boomers have received such advice.

Interestingly, there is not a great difference between the percentage of men (33%) and women (31%) who have been told to lose weight by their physician.

Close to 6 in 10 Have Tried Weight Loss on Their Own

harris-weight-loss-program-feb-2011.JPGClose to six in 10 (57%) US adults have tried to lose weight on their own, while 38% have not tried any weight management technique or program. Thirteen percent have tried a weight loss company such as Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig.

Women are more likely than men to report trying to lose weight on their own or through a weight loss company, while men are more likely than women to report no weight management program usage.

Among age groups, Gen X and Baby Boomers are most likely to have tried losing weight on their own, while Echo Boomers and Matures are least likely. Matures are most likely to have tried no program, and Baby Boomers and Matures are most likely to have tried a weight loss company.

US Adult Obesity Stabilizes

More than six in 10 American adults (62.9%) were either overweight (36.3%) or obese (26.6%) in 2010, on par with 2009, but still slightly more than the 62.2% in 2008, according to recent Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index data.

About the Data: This Harris Poll was conducted online within the US between January 17 to 24, 2011 among 2,566 adults (aged 18 and older). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.

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