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World Obesity Day

With the cost of living crisis continuing to mount, and shop price inflation hitting record highs, our research recent has revealed that many people are turning to food for comfort in these testing times. Over a quarter (28%) of people have admitted to comfort eating on a regular basis as a way to control their emotions.

Of those who identified comfort eating as their top barrier to weight loss, 36% of the total number were women, with men accounting for 19% - meaning women are twice as likely to comfort eat when overcome with emotion.

Our research revealed disparities by age demographic with over a third (36%) of 35-44-year-olds citing comfort eating as a barrier compared to just 13% of those aged 55+.

The cost of living and feeling constantly tired accounted for the second biggest barriers to weight loss at 20% each, with the inability to control cravings and using food as a distraction due to boredom also being reported by 19% of participants.


1.            Comfort eating (28%)

2.            Cost of living (20%)

3.            Constantly feeling tired (20%)

4.            The inability to control cravings (19%)

5.            Using food as a distraction (19%)

Gender demographics continued to reveal further differences, with 14% of women saying their hormones made it impossible to lose weight, and women also being more likely to cite having a family to feed as a barrier (12%), compared to just 7% of men.

In addition to this, the research also found that over half of people (51%) did not understand the traffic light system on food packaging, with a staggering 78% of Gen Z respondents also reporting this issue. The colour coded label highlights the amounts of various nutrients found in the food you are consuming. Red means the product is high in a nutrient that you should try to cut down on, eat less often or eat smaller amounts of. Amber foods are medium, meaning you can eat them most of the time, and green means low. The more green lights a label displays, the healthier the food choice is.

Furthermore, 80% of respondents did not know what RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) stood for, and almost 9 in 10 Gen Zs (89%) were not aware of the meaning of the term.

The lack of knowledge about key terms related to nutrition and weight loss is concerning, with 27% of participants stating they did not understand the term 'calorie', and just under half (47%) reporting that they did not know what 'saturated fat' or 'aerobic exercise' meant. A significant proportion of participants also did not understand the meanings of BMI (Body Mass Index) (36%) and metabolism (38%).



1.            RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) (80%)

2.            Traffic light system (51%)

3.            Saturated fat (47%)

4.            Aerobic exercise (47%)

5.            Metabolism (38%)

This research comes following the most recent NHS data revealing that two-thirds of British adults aged 16 or over are overweight or obese, highlighting the urgent need for effective weight loss strategies. The research claims that a 10% reduction in obesity prevalence could lead to significant NHS cost savings and social gain, equivalent to almost £6.5 billion per year.

Inspired to kickstart your own weight loss? Find a 1:1 Diet Consultant today.