The Price of Dieting
Americans spend more than $40 billion dollars each year on dieting and diet-related products. That's about the same as the U.S. federal government's annual education budget.
But the only thing that seems to be getting lighter are American wallets. Almost all -- 95 percent -- of dieters regain any weight they lost within one to five years. In 2011, 35.7 percent of American adults, and 17 percent of children were obese.
While dieting doesn't seem to reduce obesity or overweight, it does increase the risk of eating disorders. About one out of three "normal" dieters will progress to pathological eating. Of those, about one out of four will develop a full-blown eating disorder such as anorexia nervosa or bulimia.