I’ve been meaning to write on something interesting I ran across on StumbleUpon for awhile. I haven’t been able to replicate the search results below all together as search recommendations where I live (Poland) or when setting the search location to Florida or Utah (I’m from Florida; why Utah, I don’t know…). Nonetheless, I did see some of the same recommendations, and Google probably has something in place to not make essentially duplicate search recommendations.
Anyway, what am I talking about, right?
Here’s the article I ran across on StumbleUpon: America’s Obsession With Losing Weight Fast: Analyzing Google Search Data
And it’s intro:
As 2012 approaches, the number of overweight Americans is reaching staggering proportions. As many as 34% of American adults are obese while another 34% are considered overweight. For those Americans who are considered normal weight, over 50% are estimated to carry an unhealthy amount of body fat, which is clinically referred to as “normal weight obesity” or colloquially as “skinny fat”. Adding up all the numbers, at least 84% of American adults have what is considered an unhealthy level of body fat.
How are Americans responding to their weight?
The answer to this questions may be found by analyzing Google’s search data. Each month, there are an estimated 88 billion Google searches, of which millions relate specifically to losing weight. By understanding how Americans seek out information about fitness, we can glean insights into how Americans approach their health and well-being.
For the keyword “How To Lose Weight“, the chart below shows the U.S. search volume for the top 10 related keywords:
Do you notice anything unusual? More than 50% of the keywords (6 out of 10) refer to losing weight “fast” or “quick”. On a positive note, 110K searches for “how to lose weight healthy” indicates many Americans are not searching for that quick fix, but a more sustainable, healthier weight loss method. For the keyword “weight loss”, the chart below shows the U.S. search volume for the top 10 related keywords:
Like in the previous chart, more than 50% of the keywords (6 out of 10) use the word “fast” or “quick”, or relate to losing weight quickly.
Of course, this is not a huge surprise. We are overwhelmingly obese these days, as the author notes. And there are times, occasions, when people really want to lose their excess weight – weddings, dates, speeches, ceremonies, reunions, etc.
But the whole ‘fast’ thing really stuck out to me. We want to do everything fast these days. What was ‘slow’ on the computer 10 years ago would have me freaking out today. Cell phones, instant messaging, and numerous social networks let us get in touch with anyone we want nearly immediately. Google provides us with information that would have taken weeks to find previously.
But it doesn’t stop there. And since we’re on the topic of food, let’s jump to it.
We have so many pre-made and processed foods, today, calling out to us on TV, online, in the grocery store, and at the cash register of many stores. For the most part, I think it’s safe to say that this stuff is not real food. Additionally, the food combining in many of these is insane. We are, hurriedly, pumping our bodies full of… well, who knows what all it really is? Often, we do so just to save a minute, or a few minutes (max). Or, out of the addictive call of innumerable chemistry projects, we go for something that is ‘My-Little-Pony colorful’ instead of an apple or carrot or handful of nuts. Or, we just buy the junk food because it’s cheaper.
Now, another thing I ran across, while doing some research for my previous article, was that there were a large number of monthly searches for the term ‘the food diet’.
I thought, “that’s odd, what diet doesn’t involve food” and “I’ve never hear of such a diet, what is this?” Doing some searching, I didn’t find any particular diet called ‘the food diet.’ So, I’m presuming it doesn’t exist and it’s either some Google quirk or some quirk with us humans.
But, it stood out to me in the light of this piece from StumbleUpon I’d been meaning to write on for so long. Really, if people just ate food, real food, I think they’d do a pretty darn good job of getting in better shape and health.
It’s not something that would probably happen overnight, as so many looking for a quick fix seem to want. It’s about a fundamental change in their lives that would probably lead them to a fundamentally different weight level and state of health. And it’s not just a ‘they’ thing – we could all probably do a better job of sticking to a food diet and improving our health in the process.
Of course, there’s still the issue of eating too much. But, really, I think that if you eat real food, whole fruits and vegetables and nuts and legumes, you don’t have those addictive urges to overload your body with munchables… or at least not so much.
So, my thought and suggestion: if you’re interested in losing weight, or just being healthier, why not try out ‘the food diet’ this time. We’ve got tons of recipes to help you with that, and my handy post yesterday on optimally combining food. Try it out!
And let us know how it goes!
Food pics via shutterstock: