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Exercise - preferably walking - the answer to Indians' weight control
[Nielsen Survey, 2008]

54 percent Indian respondents have issues with their weight. According to Nielsenís Global Online Consumer Survey that periodically tracks global trends and regional preferences, 44 percent think they are overweight and 10 percent think that they are underweight. 46 percent Indian respondents think that they are about the right weight. When asked about their intention to lose weight, 48 percent respondents said that they are currently trying to lose weight. India ranks tenth globally amongst countries that think they are underweight. The survey, conducted in 52 countries, indicate that there is a global appetite for improving health through better diet and exercise.

Tactics for paring pounds

Indians are adopting various actions to reduce their weight. 79 percent respondents plan to exercise more, the second highest percentage for a country globally after New Zealand (86), that is planning to exercise more to lose weight. 69 percent of Indians are changing their diet plans to lose weight. Four percent are taking diet pills/ bars/ shakes and two percent are even taking medicines prescribed by their doctor.

After exercise, changing ones diet seems to be the most preferred option by Indians to lose weight. They are adopting all kinds of measures from cutting down on fats (84%), to cutting down on chocolates, sugar, etc (71%). 61 percent Indians are eating more natural fresh foods, 40 percent believe in eating the same food but cutting down on the portions, and 36 percent of Indian respondents are eating less processed foods. Some are also following various diet plans, the Atkins Diet (low carbohydrate, high fat diet) being a favourite for 12 percent of Indian respondents. Six percent of Indians use Weight Watchers or other slimming programs.

Indiansí exercise pattern

The majority of Indians take some form of exercise regularly. 22 percent of Indians exercise Daily and the same percentage of respondents exercise Once or twice a week. Only 20 percent of respondents said they Never exercise. On days that they do exercise, 46 percent said they exercise for 30 minutes to one hour and 43 percent said they exercise for less than 30 minutes.

The kind of exercise respondents partake in also varies. 35 percent of Indians prefer Walking, while 18 percent go to the Gym, 17 percent prefer Yoga/ Pilates -- the highest for any country globally -- and 16 percent like Running/Jogging. Other forms of exercise preferred by Indians are Team Sports (4%), Aerobics (3%), Racquet Sports (2%), and Martial Arts (1%). Surprisingly, Swimming is not preferred by Indians as an exercise option.

Credible source of information

Roughly half of the Indian consumers are confused by the barrage of diet and healthy eating information available in the marketplace, much of it conflicting. When asked where they got the best information about diet and healthy eating, 61 percent cited Doctors and Medical professionals as their source. Other sources of information mentioned were the Internet (47%), Family (29%), TV programs & Documentaries (27%), Nutrition information on packages (27%), Books (24%), Magazines (23%), Newspapers (21%), Friends (14%), and Information at the purchase site in supermarket brochures and flyers (5%).

Large Majority in Mumbai & Delhi do not think they need to exercise ...Click Here

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