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Eight in 10 Americans say they’re in control of their eating habits – but growing obesity crisis tells another story
GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare and its alli® brand launch initiative to address America’s unhealthy relationship with food
Parsippany, NJ, January 13, 2010 – Are Americans in denial about their eating habits? Today, two out of three Americans are overweight or obese, and by 2030 that figure will balloon to nearly nine out of 10.[i],[ii] Yet in a new national survey, three-quarters of respondents (74%) said they have a healthy personal relationship with food—revealing a clear disconnect between how we think and how we act when it comes to eating. GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare, the maker of alli®, sponsored the survey to better understand America’s unhealthy relationship with food and develop solutions to help people change the way they eat.
“America’s unhealthy relationship with food touches everyone,” said Rachel Ferdinando, vice president,alli, GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare. “Our study showed that many Americans are engaging in mindless or emotional eating habits—that is, eating without thinking about nutritional value or portion size, or eating in response to feelings instead of to hunger. These unhealthy habits can lead to weight gain and are contributing to our burgeoning obesity crisis. It’s time we look at our relationship with food through this lens so people can begin to understand why they overeat and learn healthier habits for life.”
The survey revealed several contradictions in how Americans perceive their eating habits. While eight in 10 Americans surveyed (79%) say they are satisfied with the state of their personal eating habits, two-thirds (67%) admit to practicing poor eating habits on at least a weekly basis, such as skipping meals and eating when they’re not hungry. And, despite their satisfaction with their own eating habits, nearly three-quarters of respondents (73%) said most Americans have an unhealthy relationship with food. About half (52%) believe an immediate family member has an unhealthy relationship with food, while more than four in 10 (44%) are concerned about a spouse’s eating habits.
“It’s clear from this survey that people recognize poor eating habits, such as mindless or emotional eating, on a societal level and in other individuals, but they don’t identify the problem in themselves—even though they admit to specific unhealthy eating habits,” said Brad Lamm*, a board-registered interventionist and founder and president of Intervention Specialists who helped design the survey for GSK. “We need to help people connect the dots so they see their own poor eating habits and mindless eating, identify the causes, and address them with sustainable solutions.”
As part of its commitment to changing the unhealthy eating paradigm, GSK Consumer Healthcare announced last week a sponsorship with The Creative Coalition, an advocacy organization of the entertainment community that uses the arts as a platform for shedding light on important social issues. The Creative Coalition will work with a director to develop a documentary project that raises awareness of mindless and emotional eating in relation to America’s obesity epidemic. The project is being sponsored with full funding by GSK Consumer Healthcare. The Creative Coalition will have complete creative control. This is part of The Creative Coalition's Spotlight Initiative, which uses independent film to bring attention to important issues on the national and global agendas.
About the survey
On behalf of GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare, StrategyOne conducted a telephone survey among a sample of 2,001 Americans ages 18 and older. The national sample is census-representative for gender, age, region, income, education, and ethnicity. The overall margin of sampling error at the 95% confidence level is +/- 1.7% for total respondents (2,001). The survey was approximately 15 minutes in length and was conducted using CATI technology. Fielding took place December 5-11, 2009.
alli is the only FDA-approved weight-loss product available to overweight adults, 18 years or older, without a prescription. alli is a clinically-proven product with a comprehensive, individualized action plan. The alli program encourages modest, gradual weight loss, known by experts as the best way to lose weight. alli (60 mg orlistat capsules) is safe and effective when used as directed. Because of the way it works, alli can help make you conscious of the foods you eat, which helps you lose weight and learn how to make healthy choices for life.
About GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare
GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare is one of the world's largest over-the-counter consumer healthcare products companies. Its more than 30 well-known brands include the leading smoking cessation products, Nicorette®, NicoDerm® CQ and Commit® as well as many medicine cabinet staples, including Aquafresh®, Sensodyne,® Tums® and Breathe Right®.
GlaxoSmithKline – one of the world's leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies – is committed to improving the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer. For company information visit: GSK.com.
About The Creative Coalition
The Creative Coalition (www.thecreativecoalition.org) is the premiere 501c(3) nonprofit, nonpartisan social and public advocacy organization of the arts and entertainment community. Founded in 1989 by prominent members of the creative community, The Creative Coalition is dedicated to educating its members on issues of public importance. Headquartered in New York City, The Creative Coalition also has offices in Washington, DC, Los Angeles and San Francisco. The Creative Coalition began the Spotlight Initiative in 2007 to use the art and craft of independent filmmaking to support important social welfare issues.
GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare contact:
*Brad Lamm is compensated by GSK but his opinions are his own.