Thin May Be In, but Survey Says Dieting is Out

Women may be watching their weight, but fewer of them say they're on a diet, a new survey finds. (Photo: Think …In spite of the fact that getting in shape and losing weight are two of the most-often made (and broken) New Years resolutions out there, a new survey shows that dieting has fallen out of favor among women in the U.S.

See more: Diet or exercise: Which is better for losing weight?

According to data from NPD group, a food-and-beverage market research company, the number of women reporting that they're "on a diet" has declined dramatically in just a generation. "Women are leading the decline in dieting," Harry Balzer, chief food industry analyst and Vice President of NPD, told National Public Radio's blog, The Salt.

Balzer and his team queried 3,800 adults as part of NPD's National Eating Trends food survey, and found that about 23 percent of women reported being on a diet in 2012, down from 34 percent who had reported the same back in 1992.

"Our data suggests that dieters are giving up on diets more quickly than in the past," Balzer said in a statement. "In 2004, 66 percent of all dieters said they were on a diet for at least 6 months. In 2012, that number dropped to 62 percent."

See more: Five no-diet ways to lose weight

"Perhaps people are not seeing results quickly enough," he added.

Or, perhaps there's an overall trend toward healthier eating -- so much so that women no longer consider it a diet?

"A diet is something you can go on and off," Madelyn Fernstrom of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, tells NPR.

But "a lifestyle is 'life' - you're always engaged," she explains. "The newer thinking is personal empowerment for change, and making small changes over time that are doable for the individual."

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