December 29, 2013
Majority Of US Adults Admit To Binging On Food During The Holidays
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More than half of all adult Americans admit that they had no plans to show restraint when partaking of food and drink during the holiday season, according to the results of a new CNN/ORC International Poll released Friday.
A total of 53 percent of people responding to the poll admit they would rather indulge than make a concerted effort to avoid gaining weight – an increase of six percent over a 2006 poll. Only 35 percent said they would consciously limit their consumption during the holidays.
Furthermore, the study found that men (57 percent) were more likely than women (49 percent) to indulge. In terms of age groups, 18- to 34-year-olds (64 percent) were most likely to gorge themselves, while those over the age of 65 (40 percent) were the least likely to “give into the gluttony of the season,” CNN added.
“A certain amount of indulgence is practically unavoidable over the holidays, but… all of us need to be mindful about how much we eat, and during the holidays, it’s even harder not to overeat, especially because it’s so social,” Dr. Chenguang Tao, an instructor of medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital, told the New York Daily News earlier this month.
“The reason doctors are always making a big deal about obesity is that it’s linked to certain diseases – including heart disease and diabetes – but also because extreme BMIs increase mortality from all causes,” he added. “Even healthy 30-year-olds need to stay on top of their diet and exercise as a preventive measure.”
While one would think that post-holiday binging guilt and the looming specter of New Year’s resolutions would cause people to heed that advice, the CNN survey found differently. In fact, less than one-quarter of all responders (23 percent) said that they were “very likely” to start a major overhaul to their diets following the holiday. Conversely, 38 percent said that there was zero-chance of such a drastic lifestyle change.
“Least likely to embark on a plan of nutrition action are rural dwellers (45 percent), those over 65 years old and people who haven't attended college (43 percent for both groups),” CNN.com reported. “The carrot stick and kale smoothie brigade will be led by denizens of urban areas (30 percent) [and] people age 35-49 (27 percent).”
The survey was conducted via telephone between December 16 and December 19, and involved a total of 1,035 US adults, the website said. Each respondent was asked questions regarding their basic demographics, and the sample was weighted in order to reflect national Census Bureau statistics pertaining to age, race, gender, education level, region of residence and overall telephone usage.