People are losing weight for the health benefits, not for physical appearance: Mayo Clinic survey

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The motivations for losing weight are not as superficial as you might think.

A new Mayo Clinic weight loss survey of over 200,000 consumers in the U.S. found the vast majority are approaching weight loss for themselves rather than others.

“Approximately 83% of participants valued health above all other aspirations, which follows a global trend of health and wellness self-care, post COVID,” Mayo Clinic said.

“It’s rather a unique survey because of its large scale, and that it explores the psychology of a dieter’s mindset,” said Dr. Donald D. Hensrud, medical editor of “The Mayo Clinic Diet.” 

Mother with kids exercising at home

Mother with kids exercising at home
(iStock)

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The survey, titled “Diet Mindset Assessment,” was commissioned by Digital Wellness, a digital health platform that operates the Mayo Clinic Diet online program, in partnership with Mayo Clinic Press. 

Most of the participants were female between the ages of 31 and 70 years old, with the average age of 52. The average body mass index (BMI) of those who completed the questionnaire as 32.3, with 30% classified as overweight and 56% classified as obese.

Slim girl in too big pants. Weight loss

Slim girl in too big pants. Weight loss
(iStock)

A BMI below 18.5 suggests a person is underweight, a score between 18.5 and 24.9 suggests healthy weight, while a score of over 25 to 29.9 indicates overweight and a score of 30 and above is obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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“The survey indicates that people are ready for a lifestyle change for good reasons – mainly to improve their health. That’s good news,” said Hensrud. 

“It means a lifestyle-changing dietary program – like the New Mayo Clinic Diet – will be a good fit for them and is more likely to have positive results that will last for a long time.”

Shot of a happy older couple enjoying a healthy lunch together outdoors

Shot of a happy older couple enjoying a healthy lunch together outdoors
(iStock)

The new Mayo Clinic Diet is a “healthy lifestyle change program,” where members can choose from different meal plans, including vegetarian, Mediterranean, high protein and a keto program that are designed ” … to help participants make lasting, meaningful changes to their behavior so they can lead a healthier life.”

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Although being motivated to lose weight is important, the survey noted the amount of motivation didn’t matter, said NBC News medical contributor Dr. Natalie Azar.

“They found that people anywhere on the spectrum of motivation actually lost an equal amount of weight,” Azar noted. 

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