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Dieting, cooking surprises in new US survey

March 24, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Microwaving meals is up. We're also eating more fruits and veggies. But what about choosing cake over caviar? There are dieting and cooking surprises revealed by the "Better Homes and Gardens" Food Factor 2010 survey.

"It was 3,600 women from across the country, an online survey. So it's a little slice of how America cooks, eats and shops," said Nina Elder, a reporter for Better Homes and Garden magazine.

Elder says some of the findings of the magazine's survey were surprising. For instance, 91 percent of the women surveyed want to eat right in lieu of dieting.

"Dieting has become sort of a four-letter word, if you will. So they're really kind of off of dieting. It's more about living a healthy lifestyle," said Elder.

Those between 18 and 24 years old had a negative association to dieting and chose instead to look at other markers, such as fitting into clothes and having more energy. They consider losing five pounds a sign of a successful diet.

But perhaps the most staggering statistic about weight loss?

"Seventy-three percent of the people said that they would rather win $20,000 than lose 20 pounds," said Elder.

Elder's speculation on this statistic?

"Well, I think people think they can lose 20 pounds, but you can't always find $20,000 lying under a rock," said Elder.

Along with weight-loss facts, the survey found many are inclined to eat at home and are serving healthier foods than they did two years ago, and looking at more recipe ideas and utilizing spices more than ever before. They still go for convenience, but now it's more on pre-washed lettuce, and easy-to-prepare produce and other healthy dishes.

They're also paying attention to labels and are up on nutrition lingo.

"They seem to be more aware about whole grains, omega-3 fatty acids, things like that," said Elder.

With more than 90 percent of American women craving chocolate, it's interesting to note that they consider chocolate cake as the ultimate craving, beating out pizza, caviar and french fries.