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When It Comes to Weight, Americans Now Prize Health Over Looks

Our collective mindset is shifting.

There used to be a pressure to lift big and down supplements to lose weight and show off vanity muscles and six-pack abs.

Shedding pounds felt like a right of passage come shirtless season. But weight loss has taken a new meaning with a focus on health. And we’re here for it. According to a recent survey from the Mayo Clinic people are losing weight for the sake of their health, not their physical appearance.

A Major Shift

Almost 210,000 people were surveyed by the Mayo Clinic Diet program. A full 83 percent of people polled said they wanted to lose weight for their health. That’s five times more than those motivated by external factors including looks.

Dr. Donald Hensrud, a Mayo Clinic Associate Professor of Medicine and Nutrition, found the survey results encouraging, telling the TODAY Show, “We think there may be a new movement on focusing on improving health.”

This survey isn’t the only sign that people are mentally shifting their motivations for weight loss. In February, USA Today noted that sales of diet books had shrank significantly in 2021.

Why the Motivational Pivot?

The COVID-19 pandemic may be one of the key factors in this major mindset shift. “Authors of the study say this follows a global trend of people focusing more on health and wellness following the pandemic,” reports TODAY.

With weight loss being something the majority of Americans strive towards, putting a focus on a healthy lifestyle over looks is a big step for many seeking dietary longevity.

Focusing on your health over your looks might even boost your chances of successfully dropping extra pounds. A 2005 review published in Obesity Reviews found that internal motivation and focusing on personal health goals helped patients lose weight and successfully keep it off.