By Nicholas Kachel/CSIRO
Early February: it’s the time of the year when the sheen starts to wear off things. The weather’s still warm but the festive season is over and most of us are back at work. Our best-laid intentions for the New Year – #NewYearNewMe – are beginning to be tested.
Did you attempt to start a new diet for 2017? And are you still sticking with it? Don’t feel guilty if you’re not, because according to our latest research you are in the majority. Our research found that nine out of 10 Australian adults have attempted to lose weight in their lifetime, 50 per cent have made more than six attempts while almost 20 per cent has tried more than 25 times.
Despite the desire Australian’s have to lose weight, our obesity rates remain high. Why is this so?
Our research has identified five behavioural “Diet Types”, with the predominant mindset tending to over-think, expect perfection and be anxious about failure, all of which can derail a diet. The Diet Type survey was developed following Australia’s largest diet survey that we conducted between May 2015 and June 2016 – unfortunately it revealed that Australian’s diets are not as healthy as many think!
To help combat the issue, our researchers then conducted an additional investigation to understand why, despite repeated health messages and a dieting culture, Australians continue to struggle with adopting a healthy lifestyle and eating habits. Our scientists looked into the behaviours that influence weight loss, such as barriers to maintaining diets, eating behaviours and existing personality research. The emergence of patterns in this behaviour led to the development of 5 distinct ‘types’ and when it comes to diets, most Australians over analyse what to put on our plates. Here’s how we rate on the diet types scale:
Number 1: The Thinker – 41%
Forty-one percent of us tend to be goal-oriented and analytical about our diets. But overthinking and constant worrying about it can add anxiety and stress which can lead to over-eating and derail diet progress.
Number 2: The Craver – 25%
Craves delicious food and finds it hard to stop, leading to overeating in tempting situations. This was the second most common type and scored high for people who were obese, as well as a high proportion of young adults.
Number 3: The Foodie – 15%
As the third most common type, this group were more likely to be a normal weight, despite foodies that loves making, eating and experiencing food.
Number 4: The Socialiser – 15%
Flexibility is essential – you won’t let strict food restrictions stifle your social life.
Number 5: The Freewheeler – 4%
Makes spontaneous and impulsive food choices, finds planning meals hard.
Since we launched the survey last month, more than 55,000 Australian have completed the online assessment, going to show that we a pretty motivated bunch when it comes to trying to understand our eating habits. These results show that we’re keen to dig a little deeper to find out what will help us to have a more sustainable and longer lasting change to our diet.
This blog post is republished with permission from CSIRO - original post.