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Poll Finds Most Weight Loss Resolutions Work; Smokers, Not As Much

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CBS Detroit (con't)

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ANN ARBOR — Roughly one-third of Americans say they have made a New Year’s resolution to lose weight in the last five years and 42 percent of people who said they smoke regularly in that timeframe pledged to quit the habit, according to the Thomson Reuters-NPR Health Poll.

Thomson Reuters, the New York company with a health care information and consulting business based in Ann Arbor, and NPR conduct a monthly poll to gauge attitudes and opinions on a wide range of health issues.

The survey, which asked respondents their opinions and experiences with New Year’s resolutions focused on weight loss and smoking, found that 57 percent of Americans who have made a pledge to lose weight in the last five years were successful. Respondents who made a resolution to lose weight said most often that their goal was between 10 and 29 pounds (48 percent). The second most popular weight loss goal was 30-49 pounds (21 percent).

One in four respondents said they smoked regularly in the last five years. Forty two percent of that group said they resolved to quit smoking over that time and 36 percent said their plan was successful.

Americans are still making resolutions as they look forward to 2012. Fifty-one percent of all respondents indicated that they will make a resolution to exercise more in the upcoming New Year. Thirty-five percent said they will make a pledge to lose weight and 9 percent of smokers indicated that they will make a resolution to quit smoking.

“As the country re-evaluates ways to reduce runaway health care spending, it is time for all Americans to be resolved to take better care of themselves and others,” said Raymond Fabius, M.D., chief medical officer at the health care business of Thomson Reuters. “Data demonstrates that the majority of medical costs can be traced back to poor lifestyle issues such as obesity and tobacco use. While we know it often takes several attempts to lose weight and quit smoking, it is encouraging that many survey participants are taking strides to improve their health in 2012. Let’s celebrate and support those who have resolutions to lose weight, stop smoking, eat better and exercise.”

Thomson Reuters maintains a library of poll results here. http://healthcare.thomsonreuters.com/npr/

The Thomson Reuters-NPR Health Poll is powered by the Thomson Reuters Pulse Healthcare Survey, an independently funded, nationally representative telephone poll that collects information about health-related behaviors and attitudes and healthcare utilization from more than 100,000 United States households annually. Survey questions are developed in conjunction with NPR. The figures in this month’s poll are based on 3,015 participants interviewed from Dec. 1-13. The margin of error is 1.8 percent.

For a copy of the full survey, click here.

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