Survey Finds 81.6% of Dieters Reaching Out For Psychological Support—But May Not Get It

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Analysts at http://www.BestDietForMe.com, a Free online diet analysis service for consumers to find the diet plans best Â?matchedÂ? to their lifestyle and budget, have just released the findings of a new national survey of 10,400 dieters visiting the website from December 1-24, 2004.

Analysts at BestDietForMe.com, a free online diet analysis service for consumers to find the diet plans best “matched” to their lifestyle and budget, have just released the findings of a new national survey of 10,400 dieters visiting the website from December 1-24, 2004. The BestDietForMe.com survey has the heavy emphasis on psychological and lifestyle questions. Obesity experts that when weight loss programs include counseling and interactive support, dieters are more successful at losing and maintaining weight loss. BestDietForMe.com analysts have identified three areas where dieters may need extra help:

• Stimulus Control - managing eating triggers and high risk situations, controlling portion sizes.

• Emotional Eating - helps you with stress management and binge eating.

• Social Eating Skills - strategies for dining out in restaurants and handling saboteurs.

Surveys claim that 46% of American women with children under 18 say they experience stress frequently in their daily lives. Weight loss programs that don’t address stress management or emotional eating are missing a key area of support.

Major findings:

• Of 3,084 people completing the BestDietForMe.com survey, 81.6% of them need for at least one of the psychological support areas mentioned above.

• 30.1% have a need for ALL 3 of the support areas: stimulus control, emotional eating, and social eating skills.

Other 2005 Forecasts:

• The 2005 “diet season” will be one characterized by the highest level of dieter confusion and price sensitivity ever. Surveys claim that 24% of Americans are very or somewhat confused about how to eat a healthy diet. People are waiting for “the next big thing” in weight loss, as the low-carb craze fades. Low-fat eating may stage a comeback.

• Gastric bypass, a weight loss surgery, will soar to new highs, spurred by new Medicare coverage.

• No new prescription diet drugs (like Meridia, Phentermine, and Xenical) will make it to market in 2005. As a result, we expect strong demand for retail or “OTC” appetite suppressants.

• Weight loss programs for seniors and “camps” for adolescents and kids will re-emerge.

• Medical weight loss programs will become more aggressive marketers in 2005.

“We believe that dieters in 2005 will increasingly demand that weight loss providers give them the psychological support that they so badly need. Highly structured commercial and medical programs already do that via in-person counseling, but these plans tend to be more expensive. It costs money to employ dietitians, MDs, nurses and other healthcare professionals. Will dieters pay extra? We don’t know. Support can also be delivered via telephone, diet websites with bulletin boards and chat rooms and email, but is that as effective? It seems to us that weight loss clinics, such as Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, and LA Weight Loss (with a physical presence and live counselors), hospitals, bariatricians, and dietitians might be in a better position to do this,” according to John LaRosa, Research Director.

More than half of the top 15 searched diet programs by people using the Internet are related to do-it-yourself plans (the Atkins diet, South Beach diet, the Zone, Dr. Phil diet, Blood Type diet). However, only one of these plans, Dr. Phil’s, has a primary focus on psychological component.

In the 2005 diet season, dieters now have an unbiased tool, BestDietForMe.com, to find the diet programs (by company name) best suited to their needs—from their home 24/7. A database of 50+ of the most legitimate and popular diets is searched after the consumer fills out an easy but in-depth 7-8 minute survey online. Consumers can also get in-depth diet program reports, and have access to special offers by weight loss providers. Best of all, there is NO cost.

About BestDietForMe.com/Marketdata

http://www.BestDietForMe.com is operated by Marketdata Enterprises, Inc., an independent analyst of the U.S. weight loss industry since 1989. The website was developed with the aid of a nationally known dietitian and a PhD psychologist, and is NOT funded by any diet companies. The website also contains lots of unique, free content. All the top diet plans are covered: the Atkins diet, the Zone diet, Blood Type diet, Richard Simmons, Dr. Phil diet, Weight Watchers, Curves for Women, South Beach Diet, Medifast, Jenny Craig, LA Weight Loss, Novartis, fad diets, and more. Marketdata’s diet market research is regularly quoted by all major media.

Contact Information:

John LaRosa, Research Director

BestDietForMe.com/Marketdata Enterprises Inc.

813-931-3900

http://www.BestDietForMe.com

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