Despite the fact that two out of three Americans are overweight or obese, “dieting” seems to be on the decline. According to a survey by the market research firm Canadean, the majority of Americans trying to lose weight are doing so through a healthier meal plan, smaller portions, and exercising more, while only eight percent follow a specific diet plan and 14 percent use “diet” foods.
The survey found that people are more interested in an overall concept of wellness, instead of short-term dieting. This means a more holistic approach, such as changing the emphasis from calorie counting and avoiding foods to emotional well-being, self-esteem, and a personal health journey. Making diet changes to drop a dress size or address an urgent medical need has fallen out of fashion; instead more people are interested in making a permanent diet change as a lifelong approach. That’s not to say that people aren’t relying on modern-day tools to guide their diet intake; using wearable devices and smart phone apps to monitor food and activity is on the rise, with 40 percent of 18-34-year-olds and 34 percent of 35-44-year-olds relying on such tools. As a registered dietitian, I welcome this new vision of healthful eating and join the call for ditching fad diets in favor of long-term lifestyle goals.
—Sharon Palmer, RDN, EN Editor