Cost of Weight Loss in America: Many Americans Would Forgo a Job Promotion to Lose 10 Pounds, Reports Nutrisystem Diet Index™
PR Newswire
New Consumer Survey Shows Many Americans Struggling and Giving Up on Health, Diet and Weight Loss

FORT WASHINGTON, Pa., Aug. 12 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- In spite of facing the deepest recession since the Great Depression and record unemployment rates, many Americans would pass up a work promotion to drop 10 to 20 pounds, according to the new Nutrisystem Diet Index issued today by Nutrisystem, Inc.®, a leading provider of weight management programs and services. Americans would also rather give up sex than gain weight, and they'd toss their cell phones and give up watching TV to have a toned tummy, according to the new findings. The Nutrisystem Diet Index is a new series of national consumer surveys tracking America's diet behaviors, attitudes and trends throughout the year. Each survey has a scale that measures America's current diet and lifestyle behavior and choices.

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"The fact of the matter is, America is obsessed with dieting and weight loss, but the majority of Americans aren't eating healthier or getting thinner," said Joe Redling, chairman and CEO of Nutrisystem, Inc. "We've developed the Nutrisystem Diet Index to better understand America's attitudes toward dieting and to start a dialogue about healthy dieting and healthy lifestyle habits and trends."

The first Nutrisystem Diet Index revealed that Americans place a high value on being healthy, but they abandon the idea of achieving a healthier weight and lifestyle, because they ultimately feel their goals are too difficult to attain and maintain. The American lifestyle is also a factor. Inconveniences of work, giving up favorite foods, not having the time to plan ahead, cooking for a larger family and the cost of healthy foods are cited as some of the biggest barriers.


The Nutrisystem Diet Index revealed that Americans are clearly showing signs of struggle. According to the Index, Americans are at the midway mark on healthy diet and lifestyle choices, scoring a 5.1 on a ten point scale – with one being an "unhealthy diet and lifestyle" and ten being a "healthy diet and lifestyle" – when asked basic questions about their eating habits, diet behaviors and lifestyle choices.

The Nutrisystem Diet Index showed:

  • Only 35 percent of Americans fall into the "healthy lifestyle" category on the Index, by making healthy food and portion choices and by exercising regularly.  
  • 30 percent of Americans fall into the "unhealthy lifestyle" category and have dieted an average of 20 times in their life, using five different diet plans
  • 35 percent of Americans have dieted an average of six times in their life, using two different diet plans
  • Nearly 1/3 of  Americans (29 percent) have tried dieting over the past eleven months, and more than half of Americans (51 percent) have dieted within the past two years

Additionally, nearly a third of Americans confess to being self-conscious about their bodies and the Nutrisystem Diet Index reveals insight into Americans' attitudes about their health, appearance and lifestyle during the height of swimsuit season.  

Additional findings from the survey include:

  • A majority of Americans (66 percent) who say they need to lose weight to feel sexier than they currently do, think it will take an average of 23 pounds of weight loss for this to happen
  • More than half (52 percent) of American women would take a summer without sex over gaining 10 pounds; a quarter of American men (25 percent) said they would make the same sacrifice
  • More Americans would prefer to shed 10 to 20 pounds this summer (25 percent) than get promoted at work (20 percent)
  • Almost three out of four Americans (73 percent) are willing to give up television, their cell phones or their computers for a  flat tummy this beach season
  • Nearly half (46 percent) of the country chose not to diet, even when they knew they needed to lose weight, because they didn't want to give up their favorite foods
  • Almost all dieters (93 percent) find at least one aspect of their dieting plan to be challenging; the majority said they aren't able to control cravings (71 percent) and find portion size an obstacle to their success (64 percent)

"The Nutrisystem Diet Index found that many Americans are willing to make extreme sacrifices to lose weight, but they eventually give up on their goals because they don't know how to reach them.  While there is an endless amount of health information available, there are still misperceptions and confusion about becoming healthier," said Dr. Bruce Daggy, nutritional biochemist and vice president of research and development, Nutrisystem, Inc. "This research helps shed light on some of the root causes of our nation's struggle to achieve a healthy diet and lifestyle."  

The Nutrisystem Diet Index analyzed healthy diet and lifestyle behaviors and attitudes based on a telephone survey conducted by Kelton Research on behalf of Nutrisystem, Inc. The phone survey took place between April 10 and April 21, 2010 among 1,001 adults age 18 and over.  

For more information on the Nutrisystem Diet Index , visit  To share what you’d be willing to give up to lose weight, go to

About Nutrisystem, Inc.

Nutrisystem, Inc. (Nasdaq: NTRI) is a leading provider of weight management products and services. Nutrisystem is sold direct to the consumer through, by phone, and at select retailers, with convenient home delivery. The Company offers proven nutritionally balanced weight loss programs designed for women, men, and seniors, as well as the clinically tested Nutrisystem D plan, designed to help people with type 2 diabetes who want to lose weight. The Nutrisystem program is based on more than 35 years of nutrition research and the science of the low glycemic index, and offers a variety of great tasting, satisfying high-fiber, good carbohydrate meals that are heart healthy. Nutrisystem was named the "Best Value" of the six most popular commercial diet programs by SmartMoney magazine in January 2010. The program has no membership fees and provides 24/7 weight management support by trained weight loss coaches and online weight management tools free of charge. In 2010 Internet Retailer magazine recognized Nutrisystem as one of the top two overall online retailers in the Food and Drug category, and as number 56 of the top 500 online retailers overall. Nutrisystem proudly supports the American Diabetes Association in its movement to Stop Diabetes and WomenHeart, The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease, in its mission to bring about a greater awareness of the link between heart disease and obesity. For more information or to become a customer visit or call 1-800-435-4074.

About Kelton

Kelton Research is a leading global insights firm and is America's 64th fastest growing private company.  Serving as a partner to more than 100 of the Fortune 500 and thousands of smaller companies and organizations, Kelton utilizes a wide range of customized, innovative research techniques and staff expertise in marketing, branding, PR, media, and business strategy to help drive our clients' businesses forward.  For more information about Kelton's services, please call 1.888.8.KELTON or visit

SOURCE Nutrisystem, Inc.

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