Americans Dieting Their Own Way

Sept. 6, 2006
More than 80 percent of American dieters are dieting their own way. A new report from Mintel finds many dieting consumers are creating their own diet plans.

In an industry that boasts many dieting options, it is surprising that many people are opting to stick with their own personal eating plans.  According to a recent Mintel report, more that 80 percent of respondents utilize eating plans they have devised themselves based upon their needs. In contrast, only six percent say that they use a commercial diet plan such as Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig.

"Although there are numerous plans and options, consumers are looking for a diet they feel will work for them, and are developing their own strategies for coping with dieting," said Marcia Mogelonsky, senior analyst for Mintel. "According to our research, only one percent of the 13 percent who tried Atkins are still on the diet. Consumers cycle through diet plans with great speed because they are looking for results. If they feel a diet is not working for them, they tend to look for another alternative. For many dieters, the most successful plan is one that combines dieting methods."

Even though there are several diet plans in existence, Mintel found that many people were unfamiliar with the majority of the plans that are currently on the market. Lesser-known plans include the 3-Hour Diet, the Abs Diet and the Sonoma Diet.  The most familiar plans included the "low-fat" diet, Atkins,
calorie counting, and the "heart-healthy" diet.

Some other key responses from the report included:

  • Close to 70 percent "strongly disagreed" that they were interested in knowing about what diets celebrities use
  • Only six percent agreed that they like to try new diet plans
  • Nearly 30 percent were very satisfied with the diet plan they use
  • Less than five percent said that they follow doctor-devised plans
  • More than 60 percent said they were limiting the type and/or amount of food they eat
  • More than two thirds of respondents considered themselves overweight

"Our society is always looking for a custom solution for good dieting," said Mogelonsky. "We all know that exercise and healthy eating are the keys to successful dieting. Americans need to concentrate on finding a regimen that works best for them, beyond the fads and quick weight-loss schemes."

For more information, please contact Mintel International Group Ltd (Mintel); 351 Hubbard St, Fl. 8; Chicago, IL 60610; Tel: 312-932-0400; Fax: 312-932-0469.

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