Gallup has released new survey findings suggesting most Americans still believe a low fat diet is more beneficial to health than a low carb diet. Interestingly, however, the numbers favoring the low carb diet has increased significantly since previous findings in 2004.
Even as recent research has reignited the debate as to which type of diet is best, most Americans (63%) continue to believe a diet low in fat is more beneficial to one’s health than a diet low in carbohydrates (30%). But slightly fewer Americans favor a low-fat diet now than in 2002 and 2004, and more prefer a low-carb one.
Despite the traditional medical advice that dieters should reduce foods high in fat, recent research, including a well-publicized study in The Journal of the American Medical Association, has suggested that a low-carb diet boosts overall energy expenditure, meaning that low-carb dieters are burning more calories per day than their low-fat counterparts. Still, many experts are undecided on the question of which diet is most beneficial, reminding dieters that the main focus is not the character and content of the diet, but the reduced amount of calories consumed.
Changes in diet affect overall health and weight. The latter issue will continue to be of consequence to many Americans, given that 41% of national adults consider themselves very or somewhat overweight, and a full 48% admit to worrying about their weight all of the time or some of the time. Beyond these self-reports, Gallup calculations of the Body Mass Index of Americans, based on their height and weight, show that 62.4% of Americans are overweight or obese, including a majority in every state in the country.