Americans might be making strides when it comes to living a more healthful life, but the statistics show they still have an uphill battle ahead of them.
The NPD Group's annual Eating Patterns in America survey shows that dieting has hit a new low, despite overwhelming evidence that more people are overweight. Of those who are dieting, the poll found that more consumers report they're following their own weight-loss plans, based in part on their own ideas, the advice of friends, media reports and perhaps their doctor. The survey found this attitude to be especially prevelant among Baby Boomers, ages 55-64. Overall, 22% of women questioned said they were following a doctor-recommended or supervised diet in 1990; that number decreased to 12% last year; similarly, the number of women reporting they were following a diet of their own making rose from 25% to 27% during the same period.
Another New Year's poll concluded that only 6% of respondents get at least 30 minutes of exercise every day, the amount suggested in federal dietary guidelines. What's more, fewer are walking or biking , and there aren't as many treading the stairs whenever possible. This report, from Cooking Light magazine, found that 89% of American adults consider themselves knowledgeable about what's needed for a healthful lifestyle, but only 1% got an “A” on the magazine's 15-question exercise and physical fitness quiz. Just over 50% received an “F.” Researchers analyzing these results again concluded that consumers don't seem to understand that health is equal parts diet and exercise.