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Popular Weight Loss Strategies Stand the Test of Time

Diet and exercise are top methods for losing weight, but people want to lose even more.

Weight Loss Strategies

How many times during a week do clients tell you they want to lose weight or talk about what they are doing to change their body weight? Among 48,026 U.S. residents over the age of 20 who answered the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey in 2015–2016, 42% responding said they were actively trying to lose weight.

The most popular strategies did not include trendy diets. Instead, survey respondents reported they were eating less (31.9%), exercising (31.5%) and drinking more water (26.3%). They also said they were eating more fruits, vegetables and salads (29.4%); eating less sugar and fewer sweets (20.9%); and changing their eating habits (20.5%).

The findings were reported in JAMA Network Open, along with respondents’ perceptions on whether they were the right weight (41%) and wanted to weigh less (67%).


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Patricia Ryan, MS

Patricia Ryan, MS, develops educational content for leaders and professionals in the wellness, fitness and older-adult marketplaces. Ryan has conducted market research and authored numerous white papers, survey reports, industry analyses and research reviews along with producing educational webinars. She holds a master’s of science degree in instructional technology aimed at designing professional education. She was IDEA’s first editor in chief and developed the Gold Standard of content for which IDEA is still known.

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