'Dieting' is no longer in their vocabulary

Attention wellness professionals: When promoting your next weight management seminar, you may want to omit the word "diet" from your literature. According to a new survey conducted for the Atlanta-based Calorie Control Council, two out of three Americans are trying to control their weight, yet most of them are not "on a diet."

The survey indicates that 27% of adult Americans (54 million people) are on a diet. Yet another 39% (77 million people) say they are making a serious effort to control their weight but do not consider themselves to be on a diet. Another 34% (66 million people) are neither on a diet nor making an effort to control their weight.

"This survey confirms that 'dieting' is now perceived as a quick-fix, short-term, on-again off-again solution to a weight problem," says John Foreyt, PhD, director of the Nutrition Research Clinic at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. "The 'controllers' in this survey take a different approach. They see weight control as something to be permanently incorporated into their lifestyle, recognizing that to be successful at maintaining a healthy weight, they'll have to develop lifelong habits incorporating diet and exercise."

You're also likely to find that employees know what they're doing wrong, and what they need to do right. Overall, the survey showed that 60% of adults say they need to lose weight. When asked why they hadn't been successful at maintaining their desired weight, 56% responded they "don't exercise enough."

Here's some more useful information: "Dieters" were significantly more likely to report unhealthy reasons for failure. In all, 41% said one reason they fail is because they often binge on their favorite foods, compared with 34% of controllers. Another reason, given by 34% of dieters, is that they watch only fat intake, and not calories, compared with a much smaller percentage (24%) of controllers.