Facts & Statistics About Dieting

Barefoot person on the scale
A man is standing on a bathroom scale. (Image: zdravinjo/iStock/Getty Images)

Sixty-two percent of adult Americans are overweight or obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control. More than 9 million children and teenagers are suffering the same problems. An increase in fast food consumption, coupled with low physical activity, largely contribute to the problem. Given those facts, it’s no surprise that dieting and weight loss are common issues among people of all ages.

Who Diets

Up to 50 percent of women are on a diet at any given time, according to Judy Mahle Lutter in her book “The Bodywise Woman.” Up to 90 percent of teenagers diet regularly, and up to 50 percent of younger kids have tried a diet at some point.

Weight Loss Industry

Americans spend more money in dieting, dieting products and weight loss surgery than any other people in the world. According to Marketdata, Americans spent $46.3 billion in weight loss products in 2004, the last year a survey was conducted. The numbers are expected to continue to grow significantly every year.

Dieting Myths

Many of the beliefs related to dieting and weight loss are erroneous. For example, it makes no difference whether you eat your calories at night or during the day. It’s the total number of calories you consume throughout the day that makes or breaks your diet. Another common myth is that carbohydrates are the enemy. The truth is that complex carbs such as whole grains, brown rice and unsweetened cereals are excellent sources of fiber and can help with weight loss. Simple carbs like sugars and highly processed grains and flours are the problem.

Dieting Extremes

According to data published by the University of Colorado, 35 percent of people who start by dieting occasionally become addicted to dieting. As of 1990, the average dieting age for girls was 8 years old. That’s down from 14 in 1970.

REFERENCES & RESOURCES
Load comments
PARTNER & LICENSEE OF THE LIVESTRONG FOUNDATION

Copyright © 2019 Leaf Group Ltd. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of the LIVESTRONG.COM Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Copyright Policy. The material appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM is for educational use only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. LIVESTRONG is a registered trademark of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. The LIVESTRONG Foundation and LIVESTRONG.COM do not endorse any of the products or services that are advertised on the web site. Moreover, we do not select every advertiser or advertisement that appears on the web site-many of the advertisements are served by third party advertising companies.