ad info
 Diet & Fitness

 Headline News brief
 news quiz
 daily almanac

 video archive
 multimedia showcase
 more services

Subscribe to one of our news e-mail lists.
Enter your address:
Get a free e-mail account

 message boards

CNN Websites
 En Español
 Em Português


Networks image
 more networks

 ad info


  health > diet & fitness > story pageAIDSAgingAlternative MedicineCancerChildrenDiet & FitnessMenWomen

Many Americans don't follow recommended weight-loss guidelines


October 12, 1999
Web posted at: 4:05 p.m. EDT (2005 GMT)

(CNN) -- Two-thirds of all Americans are either trying to lose weight or maintain their weight, but few are following national health recommendations by eating a reduced-calorie diet and exercising at least 150 minutes a week, according to a study in this week's Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

"Two-thirds of the U.S. population said they were either trying to lose weight or maintain their weight and this makes weight control one of the most prevalent health behaviors in the United States," said study leader Dr. Mary Serdula of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The study, which looked at 107,804 men and women over 18, found only 21.5 percent of men and 19.4 percent of women used the recommended combination of eating fewer calories and exercising 150 minutes per week when trying to lose weight.

Fat vs. calories

Researchers also found people were more likely to reduce fat than calories in their diet. Of those surveyed 34.9 percent of men and 40 percent of women said they were only cutting down on fat intake.

"Among persons trying to lose weight, reduction of fat intake is not an effective strategy unless calories are also reduced," the authors wrote.

Exercising as part of a weight-loss program was found least common among the obese, the least educated and the oldest. Overall, only 42.3 percent of men and 36.8 percent of women were doing the recommended 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week.

The authors suggested many factors including cars, television and easy access to fast food, may contribute to people's lack of physical activity and the increase in obesity in the U.S.

"Thus reversing the trend in obesity will require change at the societal and environmental as well as at the individual level," they concluded. "At the individual level, there is a need for health care professionals to develop expertise in counseling patients to prevent weight gain or lose weight through lower total caloric consumption and increased physical activity."

Medical Correspondent Holly Firfer contributed to this story.

Being overweight can shorten your life, study says
October 6, 1999
If new rules adopted, more Americans would be 'fat'
June 3, 1998
In Depth Section
Heart Association adds obesity to risk factor list
June 1, 1998
Study: Americans fatter than ever and getting even fatter
May 28, 1998
FDA delays approval of new diet drug amid cancer concern
May 13, 1998
Harvard study links obesity to asthma
April 26, 1998
FDA panel divided over new diet drug
March 13, 1998

Journal of the American Medical Association
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.

China SARS numbers pass 5,000
Report: Form of HIV in humans by 1940
Fewer infections for back-sleeping babies
Pneumonia vaccine may help heart, too
Enter keyword(s)   go    help

Back to the top   © 2001 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.