Thursday, January 19, 2006

To Diet or Not to Diet? Turn to Science for Answer

Visits to the Hitwise Health and Medical - Wellbeing category, which contains diet, health and fitness sites, increased by 8 percent in the final week of 2005 compared to the final week of 2004. The Internet continues to play a major role in providing guidance for slimming down and shaping up.

What is intriguing is the shift in interest from low-carb and fad diets to more scientific and balanced approaches, as indicated by the top search terms for the Health & Medical - Wellbeing Category.

Sites showing the biggest increases in market share during that period were:
* Spark People, up 148 percent
* Nutrisystem, up 130 percent
* Jenny Craig, up 40 percent

Visits to The Biggest Loser Club increased by 69 percent for the week ending Dec. 31, 2005 versus the previous week.

Hitwise Search Intelligence data suggest that this year's dieters are interested in a more scientific, balanced approach to dieting and fitness.

The share of Internet searches for glycemic index, body mass index and weight training were up 161 percent, 67 percent, and 61 percent respectively, for the week ending Dec. 31, 2005 versus the week ending Jan. 1, 2005.

In the same time period, searches for atkins diet and south beach diet were down by 12 percent and 36 percent respectively.

Could it be that we, as a nation, are becoming smarter as well as thinner? Maybe we finally realize that there is no magic fat-burning pill and there certainly is no fat-free lunch.


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