The NPD Group reports about 20% of adults report they are on a diet, down from a peak of 31% in 1991 according to NPD’s National Eating Trends food and beverage market research.
Women are leading the decline in dieting. In the past ten years, the percentage of women on a diet has dropped by about 10 points. In 1992, 34% of women told NPD they were on a diet; and in 2012, 23% of women reported being on a diet.
“Our data suggests that dieters are giving up on diets more quickly than in the past. In 2004, 66 percent of all dieters said they were on a diet for at least 6 months. In 2012, that number dropped to 62 percent. Perhaps people are not seeing results quickly enough,” said Harry Balzer, vice president of The NPD Group and author of The 27th Annual Eating Patterns in America Report. “Americans still want to lose weight, but we are seeing a change in attitudes about being overweight,” said Balzer.
Last year, 23% of Americans agreed that people who are not overweight look a lot more attractive. That number is down substantially from 55% of Americans in 1985.
“This is one of the biggest changes in our attitudes about health over the last 30 years,” said Balzer.