Why are Americans obsessed with diets? Ahem... Take a look around. What you'll find is that well over half of your fellow citizens are a bit on the plump side. Recent figures indicate that over 60% of Americans are overweight. While this is great news for the diet industry, it's quite distressing for their clients.
Of course, the question about whether diets actually work persists. Based upon thousands - OK, millions - of personal dieting failures, the answer appears to be no. Research also backs this up, indicating that pounds lost while dieting are typically reacquired in a future lifestyle readjustment.
What's to be done?
A recent survey conducted by the NPD Group, a market research firm, shows consumers are ditching diets all together. Over the past ten years, the percentage of women on diets has dropped from 35% to 29%, and from 23% to 19% for men. Yes, men have always been slackers in the diet category.
It appears consumers are ditching diets in favor of healthier eating habits. This is excellent news! Previous research has show that long-term health and lifestyle changes are sustainable. Unlike the bad-penny pounds lost on diets, the pounds lost through adoption of a healthier lifestyle are easier to keep at bay - permanently.
The survey found that the desire to improve overall health was the primary motivating factor for close to 70% of respondents. The shift away from a simple desire to lose weight, though still certainly a factor, is a healthy sign.
So, go ahead - kick that diet to the curb! Set your sights on a new and improved you, then ease into it day-by-day with a good choice here, and a good choice there...