Dieting declines…really?

I was a little dismayed to discover that, while I’ve come to accept that I have to live on a diet to ensure I don’t become a fatty four eyes, that the rest of the continent is ditching the whole dieting concept.

Regular readers here will know that I’m always gaining or losing 5 pounds. I’d like to call it an occupational hazard but weight gain wasn’t a problem for me 10 years ago and I had the same job then. No, I fear age is the culprit in my case. The old bod doesn’t burn off the bacon as fast as it used to.

I’m at the fringe of the aging curve. In fact, I was born about three years too late to even qualify as a baby boomer. The reason this info is important is that it makes the decreased dieting numbers even more puzzling. If I’m fat because I’m old, then why aren’t the older baby boomers in the same boat?

Here’s what the latest facts and figures reveal about how a group of 997 people who were surveyed by NPD feel about reshaping their own figures:

1990: 39 % of women and 29% of men surveyed were on a diet.
2008: only 26% of women and 16 % of men gave the same response.

This trend is confirmed by the Calorie Control Council (a group of diet companies, I believe) who report that in 2004, 33% of people were dieting while in 2008 the figure fell to 29 %.

Slow Food advocates like Alice Waters believe the change reflects more public interest in cooking and eating wholesome foods. I’m not sure if she’s correct (I’d love to see more people cooking and eating well so I hope she’s right), but the US Department of Agriculture does have research that shows that the more time people spend on food shopping, cooking and kitchen clean up, the more likely they are to be of average weight.

Do you find that you and your family diet more or less than in the past? And, if you are dieting less is it because you’ve given up your goal to be thin in dismay or because you’ve discovered the pleasure of scratch cooking and don’t need to diet anymore?

12 Responses to Dieting declines…really?

  1. Rosa says:

    I don’t diet. I try to eat a lot of healthy food, but I never cut on cakes and such stuff…

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  2. Rosa says:

    I meant “cut out” cakes… ;-P

  3. I do not “diet”in the calorie counting way but I have cut out a lot of the junk food and highly processed items. I eat desserts, but they are homemade. I eat fat, but it is not hydrogenated or super-heated. I eat fresh fruits, not those tinned in heavy syrup. I eat meat, but it’s antibiotic- and hormone-free. You get the idea.

    I find eating full-fat, high-fibre and unprocessed food leaves me feeling satisfied. I don’t think about portion control so much because I stop eating when I’m full. For some reason, this is easy to do with “real” food, and almost impossible with junk food.

    So, for me, scratch cooking is essential to maintaining a healthy body weight (providing I prepare a balanced menu).

  4. Cheryl says:

    I ditto Charmian’s remarks 100%. Also, you might find this article interesting. It’s from Saturday’s New York Times and describes a growing movement known as “fat acceptance,” where people focus more on being healthful regardless of what the scale says. A good read:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/05/magazine/05wwln-idealab-t.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=fat%20acceptance&st=cse&oref=slogin

  5. Sheryl says:

    I was going to link to the fat acceptance piece but Cheryl beat me to it.

    I’ve been “big” aka fat, since puberty. All the relatives on my Mom’s side are also big/fat/stocky, as are a few on my Dad’s side. I’ve also watched family members struggle to lose weight and then gain it all back plus some – multiple times.

    I guess I just don’t see the point – especially if it’s just a few pounds.

    More and more research indicates that weight is genetic and we’re all living with a pre-set weight range that our bodies will return to if we go through unnatural methods (ie. diets) to lose. It’s up there with height and eye colour in terms of not really being able to change things.

    I am more active than most regular weight people I know – I walk two miles a day and work out for an additional hour most days. I also have a cholesterol level that most people would kill for, have normal blood pressure and absolutely no plaque build-up in my veins. Being healthy is more important to me than the vague idea of a “healthy body weight” which was probably determined by a drug company looking to sell diet pills.

  6. danamccauley says:

    I will definitely read that article ladies. I guess I need to accept my aging and spreading ass and get over it already.

  7. Hélène says:

    We do watch what we eat. My DH & oldest son have the best genetic, they eat what they want without gaining weight. My youngest son & myself we look at a cake and gain weight. So we have to watch what we eat all the time & we do have to exercise. No fun. But we indulge & then exercise more. What a life.

  8. Hélène says:

    Forgot to say that starting this week I’m on the cider vinegar diet. My aunt lost of weight on it. Every morning & night you do mix 1 tablespoon of good cider vinegar in hot water, mix in 1 tsp of honey if you wish, and drink it. She does not exercise & guarantee me that she had lost lot of weight by doing that & also watching what she was eating. Hope this works.

  9. megan says:

    I have the age factor working against me also. My love of sweets sure doesn’t help!
    I try to be active and exercize. It sure helps with the kinks.🙂

  10. Potato Chef says:

    My wifte nor I diet. We are both about 50 years old. We also don’t need to diet. I honestly believe the reason we don’t need to diet is because we cook and eat 90% of our meals at home.

    We don’t give ourselves portions that are larger then what an average person should eat. We also don’t use excessive amounts of sugar. And of course we don’t drink the all time diet killer…..SODA POP

  11. Cheryl A says:

    I have to echo Cheryl and Charmian. We are making a big push in this direction, more than we’ve ever done before.
    As the mother to two daughters I refuse to diet or complain about my thighs and jelly belly, especially in front of them. I want them to see food as a wonderful thing, not an enemy. And I want them to see that life is about far more than what size you wear. Do I wish I was smaller? Hell yeah. But I’m as big as I am for the way I eat and the activity I do. If I want to change I need to move more. But for now I’m content to walk to the park every night and try to keep up with a toddler on the jungle gym.

  12. I strongly feel that dieting decline has come into existence not because of controlling obese problems but they are failing to set up their goals and leaving their diet plans. I think they need a great deal of dieting motivation to succeed if they really want to lose weight. I appreciate for your sensible title, which made reader to look out the info. Thank you!

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