(January 31, 2018) — A Calorie Control Council survey shows that small, sensible changes such as drinking more water, exercising, eating smaller portions and decreasing calories are actions Americans have taken to manage weight. The survey was conducted online by Harris Poll among over 2,000 U.S. adults ages 18+ on behalf of the Calorie Control Council, an association representing the low- and reduced-calorie food and beverage industry.
More than half of Americans (57 percent) indicated that drinking more water was one of the ways they manage their weight. In addition, being more active and/or exercising was listed by 55 percent, while eating smaller portions and reducing calories was mentioned by 47 and 37 percent, respectively.
According to Dr. Sylvia Poulos, a Registered Dietitian and Director of Nutrition and Scientific Affairs with the Council, this means there’s plenty of room for improvement. “Successful weight management requires sensible lifestyle strategies that can be easily implemented and maintained over the long term. Consumers should arm themselves with multiple strategies, including consuming fewer calories, eating less and exercising more to support and overall healthier lifestyle and better manage excess weight.”
The top behaviors indicated on the survey mirror many of those found in the National Weight Control Registry (NWCR), which follows adults who have lost at least 30 pounds or more and have kept it off for at least five years. The registry has been following successful “losers” for the past 24 years and has found that while strategies vary for weight maintenance, most partake in a lower calorie and lower fat diet while participating in higher levels of activity. More than two thirds of “successful losers” eat breakfast each day and weigh themselves, and on average 90 percent exercise for approximately one hour per day.
“The good news is that maintaining weight is not about deprivation and starvation. Implementing sensible and fairly strategies that include keeping an eye on calories and findings ways you enjoy being physically active are very doable,” Poulos adds. “If drinking water and going to a traditional gym class are actions you can take then do it. But there are many other options for those needing different solutions to achieve and maintain a healthy weight goal.”
The Council has always supported recommendations by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (the Academy) and other nutrition and health organizations for people to be more active and balance their calories through portion control, eating more fruits and vegetables, increasing fiber, and more. Fortunately, there are more options than ever for people to help balance and monitor their calories and daily diet. With regard to food and beverages, fiber is being added to more products and consumers now have access to more no- and low-calorie flavored waters, foods and beverages. In addition, more opportunities for various types of activity abound, including yoga and walking, high-intensity training for those with limited time and hiking or rock climbing for outdoor adventures that can also inspire some traveling.
For more suggestions from health professionals on how to make sensible lifestyle changes in the diet, use activity and food calculators and learn more about the survey findings, visit the Council’s web site at www.caloriecontrol.org.
This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of Calorie Control Council from November 16-18, 2016 among 2,074 U.S. adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Stan Samples at the Calorie Control Council, [email protected].