In a country where four out of 10 adults are obese, it’s probably good news that half of U.S. adults say they’ve recently tried to shed some pounds.
They did this most often through exercise, cutting calories and eating their fruits and veggies, according to a new government survey that tracked Americans’ weight-loss attempts between 2013 and 2016.
Overall, 49 percent of respondents said they’d tried to lose weight in the past year — including two-thirds of those who were obese.
As of 2016, almost 40 percent of American adults were obese, according to researchers with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).
So it’s important to know how many Americans are trying to lose weight — and how they’re doing it, said Kirsten Herrick, a senior research fellow with the NCHS who worked on the study.
There were some positive signs, said a registered dietitian who wasn’t involved in the research.
The most common weight-loss methods were exercise and eating less — each reported by 63 percent of people aiming to shed pounds. And half said they were eating more fruits, vegetables and salads.
“The good news is that people seem to recognize that weight loss is about changing habits, not quick-fix diets,” said Connie Diekman, director of university nutrition at Washington University in St. Louis.
Sustainable diet changes are critical, Diekman said. That includes cutting sugary, fat-laden junk food, and replacing it with plenty of fruits, vegetables, fiber-rich grains and other healthful whole foods.
Regular exercise can improve your overall health, and may aid in weight loss, Diekman noted. But, she said, people need to make lasting changes in how they eat, rather than try fad diets.
The report was based on a nationally representative sample of Americans aged 20 and older. Many people said they’d tried to lose weight in the past year, though the figures varied among different groups…
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