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Survey says: Fewer Americans are dieting, especially women

Greatist News examines and explains the trends and studies making headlines in fitness, health, and happiness. Check out all the news here.

Take a look at the cover of any lifestyle magazine and you’d think that all Americans want to do is lose weight and get toned. But new survey results find the percentage of American adults on a diet has fallen dramatically, particularly among women. The survey also suggests that fewer Americans view being overweight as unattractive.

About 20 percent of 3,800 surveyed adults report being on a diet, down from a peak of 31 percent in 1991 — and women are at the forefront of this shift. According to consumer research group NPD’s National Eating Trends food and beverage market research, the percentage of women on a diet dropped from 34 percent in 1992 to just 23 percent in 2012. (Still, New Year’s diets remain a cultural tradition across genders. NPD estimates that during the first two weeks of January, the number of Americans on a diet jumps to 50 million.)

The survey also found that fewer Americans agree with the statement, “People who are not overweight look a lot more attractive.” In 1985, 55 percent of surveyed Americans agreed. In 2012? Fewer than one in four Americans held the belief that people who aren’t overweight are more attractive than their heavier counterparts — representing a notable attitude shift over the past few decades.

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