Are you working out, but not seeing the pounds melt away like you thought? You aren’t alone. A new survey published earlier this week from Brodeur Partners Health and Wellness finds that Americans are doing a great job at the gym but a mediocre job at the dinner table. Even though science suggests diet is more important than exercise in fighting obesity, diet is losing, and losing badly, to exercise.
In the survey, nearly 60 percent (57 percent) of Americans stated that they are daily or frequent exercises, but only 46 percent eat health foods on a daily or frequent basis. On top of that, 24 percent of respondents claimed that they exercise every day — with only 9 percent stating that they eat healthy foods that often.
“The good news is a lot of Americans are getting active,” said Brodeur Partners CEO Andrea Coville, author of Relevance: The Power to Change Minds and Behavior and Stay Ahead of the Competition. “The bad news is that our appetite for healthy foods – one of the best ways to sustain a healthy weight – appears weaker. The disparity could be an issue of willpower, marketing, education, food availability or a combination. Whatever the case, this insight is a potentially valuable one for organizations devoted to health care, wellness, nutrition and fitness.”
Exercise and eating right are important health practices given that one in three Americans are obese, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
From a generational standpoint, millennials (age 18-34) are leading the way. More than 60 percent (61 percent) work out daily or frequently, versus only 51 percent of baby boomers (age 55+). In addition, millennials are more likely to eat healthier with 51 percent stating they do so most or all of the time, compared to only 40 percent of Generation Xers and 44 percent of baby boomers.
“We’re clearly better exercisers than eaters, which raises the question of whether our society is marketing healthy eating effectively,” said Jerry Johnson, Brodeur Partners executive vice president of planning, who led the research. “We’re constantly told to eat our fruits and vegetables as a way to live longer and avoid disease. But longevity isn’t what motivates people who eat well to eat well. Rather, it is a desire to physically feel and look better today.”
Lora is an RRCA certified running coach and blogger at Crazy Running Girl. Since she started running more than 15 years ago in a quest to lose weight, she has run 19 marathons. Follow her on Twitter.