Prevalence of dieting among working men and women: the healthy worker project.

Robert W Jeffery, S. A. Adlis, Jean Forster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 Scopus citations


Examined dieting to lose weight in a population of 2,107 men and 2,540 women employed in 32 worksites in the upper Midwest. Lifetime prevalence of this behavior was estimated to be 47% in men and 75% in women, and point prevalence was reported as 13% and 25% in men and women, respectively. Lifetime prevalence of participation in organized weight-loss programs was 6% in men and 31% in women; current prevalence was 1% in men and 6% in women. The strongest correlate of dieting behavior was relative body weight. In logistic regression analyses, dieting tended to be associated positively with education and occupational status and, in men only, was more prevalent among those with a history of hypertension. Dieters reported lower food intakes than nondieters, but the two groups did not differ consistently in reported physical activity. Overall, dieting appears to be a pervasive behavioral U.S. phenomenon that may contribute in part to population differences in the prevalence of obesity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)274-281
Number of pages8
JournalHealth Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1991


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