Eight out of ten consider themselves "weight conscious," according to a new national survey released from the Calorie Control Council. Five out of ten (54 percent) said they want to reduce their weight, and noted that exercise, cutting back on sugar, using low-calorie or reduced-sugar products, and restricting the size of meal portions are the most common tactics. An additional 28 percent of Americans are trying to control or maintain their weight.
"People are now hearing what health authorities have been saying for years–Americans are too heavy," said James Hill, Ph.D., executive director of the University of Colorado Anschutz Health & Wellness Center and co-founder of America On The Move, a national program with a mission to improve health and quality of life by promoting healthful eating and active living among individuals, families, communities and society. "Although America has a serious weight problem, the good news is that more and more people are trying to address it."
Among weight-loss methods, cutting back on foods high in sugar was mentioned most often (by 86 percent of respondents). Other popular methods of weight control by those trying to lose weight include eating smaller portion sizes (85 percent) and consuming low-calorie and sugar-free foods and beverages (78 percent). Also, nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of Americans trying to lose weight say they perform moderate exercise for 45 minutes at least three times per week. Only 17 percent said they skip meals to diet, 13 percent use diet pills and 8 percent follow restrictive weight-loss diets.
The several obstacles that stand in people’s weight management goals include: not enough exercise (69 percent), metabolism slowing (62 percent) and too much snacking (52 percent). Some of the reasons given were more gender specific: women often eat for emotional reasons (50 percent) while men find themselves overeating at mealtimes (44 percent).
"Many have taken the first step – admitting they want to lose weight for overall better health," said Beth Hubrich, a registered dietitian with the Calorie Control Council. "It's all about calories in and calories out. For healthy weight loss, reduce calories while eating a balanced diet, and burn calories through physical activity."
This nationally projectable survey was conducted in November 2010 by Booth Research Services, among 1,203 males and females aged 18 years and older. The Calorie Control Council, established in 1966, is an international nonprofit association representing the low-calorie and reduced-fat food and beverage industry. The Council has been tracking dieting and weight control habits in the United States since 1984.