A new study by plant-based food and drink specialist Alpro – which surveyed 2,000 people as part of its first Annual Diet and Healthy-Eating Report – has found that disillusioned Brits are getting tired of the effect that fad dieting regimes are having on their morale – as well as their pockets.
And while one in five of us say we often feel annoyed or confused by conflicting dieting advice in newspapers, magazines and online, it appears that the impact that fad diets are having on our wallets is now one of our biggest complaints.
But researchers found that the UK’s fad dieting addiction appears to be waning as the high cost of following such regimes is taking its toll — and yielding extremely poor results — as the average dieter admitted spending an extra £37.84 following the latest regimes each month, equating to £454 per year and £30,000 over the course of a lifetime.
Yet only one in three dieters (36 per cent) actually reported losing any weight – and only one fifth claimed to feel any better for it.
Biggest gripes included diets that quickly became unsustainable (cited by nearly one in four respondents who had dieted in the last 12 months), followed by the high cost associated with following such regimes (23 per cent).
Such obstacles led to two out of five of those surveyed giving up or losing interest in their dieting bid.
It is perhaps not surprising, then, that almost half of those surveyed said they had now wised up to the false promises of ‘New Year new you’ diets, describing them as a fad, while four out of five said they now planned to follow a straightforward healthy eating and exercise regime instead.
TV dietitian Lucy Jones, star of Channel 4’s The Food Hospital, said: “Alpro’s study is very revealing, and highlights the urgent need for many people to adjust their thinking around food and health.
“We all need to work towards a more simplified whole diet approach in line with Public Health England’s Eat Well guidelines, which are easy to understand and allow people to follow more of a whole food, plant-based diet.”
Alpro dietitian Kate Arthur said: “To maintain a healthy and balanced lifestyle we need to avoid ‘quick fix’ diets, which can be nutritionally inadequate and unsustainable.
So much nutritional advice is centred on single nutrients such as having too much sugar or fat, whereas we really need to focus on including the key nutrients such as vitamins and calcium.
Taking a whole diet approach to our health with a focus on increasing the diversity of plant foods in our everyday eating patterns is a great way for anyone to start enjoying a healthy, balanced lifestyle.”
The Alpro report is designed to promote a balanced approach to healthy living without the need for extreme dieting.