USA Weight Loss Statistics 2024

US Weight Loss Statistics Reveal Changing Attitudes In 2024

Weight Loss Stances and Practices In the US

Polly’s analysis of weight loss sentiments expressed online shows that people in the US are aware of various practices. Take a closer look at these stances and practices and find out how they rank in popularity.

stancesandpractices

Polly’s data shows that Americans are talking about a plethora of weight loss methods, from medications and exercise to support groups and hydration. The most engagement (14.2%) took place around the topic of FDA-approved medications, followed by exercise (12.9%) and weight loss programs (11.4%). The least engagement took place around nutritionist consultation (0.5%), support groups (0.4%), and hydration (0.3%).  

 In between, going from most to least popular, we found practices including keto diet (10.8%), intermittent fasting (9.1%), lifestyle changes (6.2%), meal planning (5.0%), dietary changes (4.6%), plant-based diet (3.9%), calorific deficit (3.2%), health apps (2.8%), sleep (2.6%), cardiovascular workouts (1.9%), and bariatric surgery (1.0%).  

 Polly also revealed an interesting timeline in terms of when these weight loss stances were being expressed online. According to this data, some topics that saw a high level of engagement at one stage are no longer being spoken about, while others are only starting to enter into more people’s awareness. 

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Weight Loss Engagement by Age Group

Polly’s online analysis of weight loss sentiments found varying engagement levels by age group and that expected engagement levels were not quite in line with the actual engagement numbers. In the graph below, the red line is the expected engagement level, and the blue is the actual engagement level as per Polly’s data: 

Ranked from highest to lowest by engagement, Polly’s data shows which age groups had the most to say about losing weight:

  • >65 – 1,900,000 
  • 55-64 – 1,400,000 
  • 45-54 – 1,200,000 
  • 35-44 – 1,110,000 
  • <25 – 800,000 
  • 25-34 – 630,000 
age_group

Weight Loss Engagement by Gender

The levels of engagement on weight loss also varied significantly by gender. Let’s take a closer look at
what Polly’s data revealed about these demographics.
 

bygender

According to Polly, the actual level of engagement by females was much higher than that of males. Furthermore, females’ actual engagement level was higher than their expected engagement level, while males’ actual level of engagement was much lower than expected. Polly’s data shows:

  • Female – 4,500,000 
  • Male – 2,550,000 
byregion

Weight Loss Engagement by Region

When it comes to weight loss engagement by region, Polly’s data had a few
surprises in store. Let’s delve into these demographics.

  • South Atlantic – 1,000,000 
  • East South Central – 600,000 
  • West South Central – 600,000 
  • Mid-Atlantic – 590,000 
  • Mountain – 590,000 
  • Pacific – 550,000 
  • East North Central – 300,000 
  • New England – 250,000 
  • West North Central – 1,500,000 

Older Women Driving the Weight Loss Conversation

Polly’s data indicates that, at least when it comes to the sentiments Americans express online, the conversation around losing weight revolves mostly around FDA-approved medications, exercise, and weight loss programs, followed by dietary options and various lifestyle changes.  

What’s more, middle-aged (55-64) and older (65+) women in the South Atlantic, East South Central, and West South Central regions are driving the conversation. Looking at Polly’s data as well as the other data we gathered, it’s clear that, with current overweight and obesity rates, more needs to be done to raise awareness among Americans. 

About The Data

Data sourced from Polly, who created an independent sample of 7,337,454 people from Twitter, Reddit and TikTok in the USA over the past 12 months from March 12, 2023 – March 12, 2024. Responses were collected and analyzed to produce outcomes within a 90% confidence interval and 5% margin of error. Engagement estimated how many people in the location are participating. Demographics were determined using many features, including name, location, and self-disclosed description. Privacy was preserved using k-anonymity and differential privacy. Results are based on what people describe online — questions were not posed to the people in the sample. 

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