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Women are ditching dieting and opting for a long-term healthier approach instead.
According to a new study, women are moving away from specific diets, trends and tactics to more permanent, healthy lifestyle changes. In fact, while two-thirds of women polled say they and their households are eating healthier in the last two years, just over half say they do not follow a specific diet but have recently made significant modifications in what and how they eat.
The Food Factor: The Evolution of Eats survey by Better Homes & Gardens was conducted among U.S. women. The study took a comprehensive look at women’s motivations, attitudes and behaviors relating to food including cooking, shopping, and eating.
“While women continue to be health-conscious, their approach to their diet has changed,” says Nancy Hopkins, Senior Food Editor of Better Homes & Gardens, “These women no longer want short term solutions from diet fads and tricks; they want to make meaningful changes that will last them over the course of their lives.”
This new approach has led to big changes in dieting in the last two years:
- 63 percent of women are now focusing on eating healthier foods in general – compared to only 50 percent in 2014
- Only 27 percent of women say they or any household member has followed a special diet in the last year – down 20 percentage points from 2014
- 64 percent are paying more attention to nutrition than they did two years ago – compared to only 53 percent in 2014
- 53 percent say they are working to make small, permanent changes in their eating, including:
- 71 percent of women are eating more vegetables – up 14 percentage points from 2014, while 66 percent of women are eating more fruits – up 19 percentage points from 2014.
- Half of women are now adding more salad to their diets, and 3 in 5 even grow their own fruits and vegetables.
- While fruit and vegetable consumption is up, women are eating 33 percent less meat than before, with about 1 in 3 women having occasional vegetarian meals/days.
- 85 percent say they consider the healthfulness of a recipe before selecting it, and 50 percent have changed recipes so that they’re healthier.
Food Factor: The Evolution of Eats was fielded in July 2016 and, in total, more than 2,000 responses were collected from respondents, U.S. women ages 18+. The 126-question survey was divided into 11 sections, with each respondent completing one to three sections, depending on the number of questions per section. Margin of error at 95 percent confidence level for 400 respondent base per question is +/- 4.9 percent, for total respondent base of 2K it’s +/- 2.2 percent.
I believe that diets are okay getting a jumpstart on weight loss and other health goals. However, they aren’t very beneficial for seeing long-term results. Eating healthy on a consistent basis is the best approach to achieve and maintain a healthy body for life. I’m glad to see that women are realizing this, dieting less and making the positive change.