Australians expect to fail in the battle of the bulge

By RJ Whitehead

- Last updated on GMT

Photo: iStock
Photo: iStock

Related tags: Obesity

Australians are their own worst enemies when it comes to eating better and controlling their weight, according to findings from a new survey that investigates why some people are better at dieting than others.

In the authoritative online questionnaire, which looked at the weight management habits of more than 2,300 Australians, 69% of respondents identified that they were personally the main barrier to achieving their weight-loss goals.

Designed by Csiro, the government research agency, the survey was set up to investigate a cross-section of dieters, including those who had been successful and unsuccessful; those who were about to start on their weight-loss journey; and those who were currently in the process of managing their weight.

It found self-sabotaging dieters pointed to social activities (52%), high stress (41%), lack of motivation (41%), eating out (37%) and limited weight loss (36%) as barriers to losing weight.

Co-author Manny Noakes said support was critical for those seeking to lose weight.

For many Australians, losing weight is a challenging experience​,” said Professor Noakes.

In addition to hampering their own efforts, the survey also showed that 40% of dieters stated that no one supported them in their weight-loss attempts​.

Health professionals, friends and family can all play a role in helping dieters eat better and control their weight​.”

The survey also found that a lack of drive had hampered previous weight management attempts by half of those who had tried dieting but had since given up. Meanwhile, 56% said “life getting in the way​” had proven to be their biggest hurdle.

Respondents said they wanted to lose an average of 11% of their body weight within the first six months, equating to an average of 9.4kg.

However, this optimism belied a nation of pessimists, with one in five respondents expecting to fail in their weight-loss goals within six months.

And 31% said that achieving their weight-loss goals was out of their control.

Related topics: Markets, Oceania, Asian tastes

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