On average, about 20% of people said they were on a diet during any given week in 2013, down from a high of 31% in 1991, according to new data. Women showed the biggest decline, with 23% reporting being on a diet in 2013, vs. 36% in 1991. That drop may partially explain this finding: About 23% of people in 2013 said that those who are not overweight look a lot more attractive, down from 55% who thought that in 1985.
Dieting Alone Is Just Too Hard
People may be more accepting of their weight because it’s easier than trying to exercise and eat less. It seems like there are some people who have just thrown in the towel, and it’s understandable, because losing weight by dieting is difficult, if not impossible. If people would just adopt a few changes in their exercise habits and eating habits, they wouldn’t have to go on a restrictive eating plan ever again.
Who Is Dieting?
As far as dieting is concerned, about a third of people on diets follow a plan of their own, often based on what has worked for them or what they’ve heard worked for friends. Dieting has negative connotations, so it’s possible that people were trying to lose weight but didn’t want to call it a diet. In fact, a recent study, the findings showed that about 55% to 65% of people are trying to drop some weight.
Dieting Statistics Today
The most up to date research shows that the desire to lose weight is much greater than the percentage of people who are on a diet, with around 60% of adults wanting to lose at least 20 pounds or more.
About two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese, according to government data.
About 22% of people are on a diet right now. This is a tradition that tends to peak sometime in January of each year. And it’s always around the same percentage of people involved.
During the holidays in 2013, about 19% of adults were on a diet. That used to be about 23% or 30%, experts say. The holidays are the lowest dieting point of the year. Then people start off with good intentions in January, but lose interest again a long time before the end of the year.
In 2013, 32% of all dieters said they followed a diet for less than a month; 36% for one to six months; 11% for seven to 12 months; 27% for more than a year.
And…(aargh!) 9% of all dieters have been on a diet for more than five years.
Medically reviewed by Jay J. Garcia, MD on July 29, 2014