5 January 2016

Diets. You are your own worst enemy, but we can help.

Australians are their own worst enemies when it comes to eating better and controlling their weight, according to findings from a new survey by the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet online.

The survey, which looked at the weight management habits of more than 2300 Australians, found 69 per cent of respondents identified themselves as the main barrier to achieving their weight loss goals.

CSIRO conducted the survey to better understand why some Australians were more successful at dieting than others.

It looked at a cross section of dieters – from those who were successful, unsuccessful, about to start the weight loss journey and currently in the process of managing their weight.

The survey found self-sabotaging dieters pointed to social activities (52 per cent), high stress (41 per cent), lack of motivation (41 per cent), eating out (37 per cent) and limited weight loss (36 per cent) as barriers to losing weight.

CSIRO’s Research Director for Nutrition and Health and co-author of the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet online Professor Manny Noakes said it was critical that those looking to lose weight seek support.

“For many Australians losing weight is a challenging experience,” Professor Noakes said.

“In addition to hampering their own efforts, the survey also showed that 40 per cent of dieters stated that no one supports them in their weight loss attempts.

“Health professionals, friends and family can all play a role in helping dieters eat better and control their weight.”

In conjunction with the survey findings, the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet online today launched Dietitian Plus, a new service which provides personalised support from Accredited Practising Dietitians (APD) to help dieters reach their weight loss goals.

Dietitian Plus includes 12 weeks of the Total Wellbeing Diet online program plus online one-on-one support from university-trained dietitians to assist dieters during those critical times of their weight loss journey.

Dietitians will share their expert advice on nutrition, offer personalised support and feedback, help dieters set realistic and achievable weight loss goals and establish a high level of accountability.

Total Wellbeing Dietitian Nicole Dynan said Dietitian Plus was a comfortable and convenient way for those wanting to lose weight to receive professional advice and support.

“We can use the time to help them plan for success, monitor their progress or even create their shopping list to stock their fridge or pantry,” Ms Dyan said.

“The session can also be used to identify triggers or events that lead to overeating and ways to overcome them.”

Total Wellbeing Diet online is one of the first commercial weight loss programs to connect those wanting to lose weight with Accredited Practising Dietitians.

The Total Wellbeing Diet online and Dietitian Plus is available for $299 and includes the 12-week scientifically formulated online program including personalised meal and exercise plans, as well as support and motivation from a team of dietitians via online face-to-face sessions and over telephone and email.

Additional survey findings include:

  • Half (50 per cent) of those who had tried dieting but had since given up cited a lack of drive had hampered their weight management attempt, while 56 per cent said ‘life getting in the way’ had proven to be their biggest hurdle.
  • Respondents want to lose an average of 11 per cent of their body weight within the next six months, which equates to an average of 9.4kgs.
  • 1 in 5 respondents believed they would fail in their weight loss goals during the next six months.
  • 31 per cent said achieving their weight loss goals was out of their control.

Find out more about the survey findings and our Dietitian Plus program on the Total Wellbeing Diet site .

Additional resources


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    Australians are their own worst enemies when it comes to eating better and controlling their weight, according to findings from a new survey by the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet online.

Background information

About the survey

The results of the Weight & Wellbeing Snapshot survey were captured in November, 2015. The final data set captured 2307 respondents (removing implausible data). The data were tabulated according to respondents’ current weight management stage.

Note: the dataset is a convenience sample and not a population representative sample. Most notably, males are under-represented in the respondents.


Expand background information


  • Mr Andreas Kahl

    Communication Manager, Food And Nutrition · Communications

    • Phone:
      • +61 8 8303 8888
      • +61 407 751 330 (Mobile)

    Email: Andreas.Kahl@csiro.au

  • Ms Rachel Love

    Media relations · Blackie McDonald Communication Group

    • Phone:
      • +61 421 481 269

    Email: rachel.love@bmcd.com.au

  • Ms Alanna Schindewolf

    Media relations · Blackie McDonald Communication Group

    • Phone:
      • +61 411 580 845

    Email: alanna.schindewolf@bmcd.com.au

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