Well-Being Longevity

The number of Americans dieting has slightly increased over a decade, report says

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Story at a glance

  • Seventeen percent of Americans said they were on a diet during a 2017-19 survey period.
  • That’s a slight increase from the 14 percent of Americans who said the same 10 years prior.
  • Over that time period, however, obesity rates increased from 34 percent of Americans to 42 percent.

The number of Americans who say they are on a diet has increased over the last 10 years, but the rate of obesity is rising much faster, according to a report from The Associated Press 

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 17 percent of Americans said they were on a diet to lose weight or for other health reasons during a 2017-18 survey period, compared to 14 percent who claimed they were on a diet 10 years earlier. 


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Over that time period, however, obesity rates increased from 34 percent of Americans to 42 percent. 

The findings from the CDC come from an ongoing national survey in which respondents are asked if they are currently on any kind of diet, “either to lose weight or for some other health-related reason.”

The CDC report also included responses from surveys between 2015 and 2018. 

The report from the CDC found 23 percent of obese Americans said they were on diets, compared to 17 percent of people who are overweight and 8 percent of people who were normal weight or underweight. 

Eighteen percent of white Americans, 16 percent of Hispanics and 15 percent of Asian and Black respondents reported dieting, while people 40 and older said they were on diets more than those ages 20 to 39. 

Women reported dieting more than men, while heavier, more educated, people were also more likely to report being on a diet.


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