Have you ever wondered where your region would rank in a list of Britain’s slimming hotspots? In search of the most dedicated weight loss enthusiasts, we conducted a national survey in partnership with OnePoll.
The data collected from 2,334 respondents across 12 regions produced some revealing findings. The North East topped the poll as the population most determined to shed excess pounds in 2016, with nearly 60% of participants citing “to lose weight” as their most recent resolution. They were also the most likely to have joined a weight loss community and bought nutritional supplements to support their ambitions. Considering that research carried out by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation found obesity rates to be highest in the North East, these recent results are suggestive of a positive step towards healthier lifestyle choices.
By contrast, Londoners were the least inclined to have made the same resolution, with only 39% of survey participants claiming to have chosen pound-shedding as their aim. Instead, this demographic were far more concerned with other health-related goals, with 60% opting for resolutions such as eating more healthily, drinking less alcohol and quitting smoking. With fewer young people opting to drink or smoke every year, this puts the capital at the forefront of the clean-living cultural shift.
Other highlights from the survey include the finding that those from East Anglia are the least resolute when it comes to sticking to their New Year’s resolutions and those from Northern Ireland are most likely to employ a personal trainer. Whilst Scottish respondents indicated that their top reason for making a resolution in 2016 was to prove something to themselves (41%), a high proportion also admitted quitting due to lack of willpower (43%).
You can click here to access and download all of the New Year’s Resolution raw data collected by OnePoll.
Alternatively, you can find a region-by-region breakdown with the most interesting facts below.
NORTH EAST WINS THE TITLE OF BRITAIN’S WEIGHT LOSS CAPITAL
Our survey revealed that the North East was the UK region most dedicated to slimming down in 2016. Nearly 60% of survey respondents from this area cited “to lose weight” as their most recent New Year’s resolution.
Not only did North Eastern respondents show a clear preference for weight loss related resolutions, but this population was also the most likely to have joined a weight loss community and bought nutritional supplements to support their ambitions. Furthermore, out of all 12 regions, the surveyed group from the North East exhibited the strongest desire to achieve their ideal shape as a key motivator behind their goal setting, with 28% of respondents selecting “achieving a dream body” as their main reason for making a resolution.
NHS figures suggest that obesity-related hospital admissions are highest in the North East, which has given rise to mounting media concern over the past few years. Considering this, it is unsurprising that survey participants from this area also felt the most pressurised into setting goals for the New Year in comparison to other populations. Revealingly, the North East also had the highest proportion of people who had spent over £1,000 on New Year’s resolutions over the past five years.
LONDONERS LEAST LIKELY TO MAKE WEIGHT LOSS RESOLUTIONS
Londoners were shown to be the least concerned about slimming down in the New Year in comparison to the rest of the UK population. Only 39% of London-based respondents claimed to have made a recent weight loss resolution, with 60% opting for other health-related goals, including eating more healthily and drinking less alcohol, and 1% citing other ambitions.
The results also reveal that Londoners are the worst at sticking to their resolutions. Only 5% of respondents from the capital claimed to have committed to their previous New Year’s goals for 11-12 months, a proportion which was more than doubled by participants from the East Midlands (13%). 14% of the London group also admitted to breaking a resolution within 24 hours, with 19% stating that this had happened more than once. Despite being the region with the highest proportion of people aiming to exercise more, 28% of Londoners find fitness-related resolutions the hardest to keep, which perhaps explains the low commitment rate.
When asked to identify their biggest obstacle when trying to achieve their resolutions, 25% of the London group selected “not having enough time”, topping the poll for the busiest populations ahead of Yorkshire (21%) and Scotland (20%). However, it’s not all bad news – 69% of those surveyed claimed to have repeated a New Year’s resolution that they had failed to adhere to in the past, making London one of the most persistent areas, if not the most successful!
SOUTH WEST IS ONE OF BRITAIN’S TOP WEIGHT LOSS HOTSPOTS
Our study revealed the South West to be one of Britain’s top slimming hotspots. 47% of respondents claimed to have made a weight loss resolution in recent years, a statistic which was only beaten by the survey groups in the North East and Northern Ireland.
South Western participants also exhibited a highly social approach to achieving their New Year’s resolutions, citing “working towards a goal with family and friends” as the prime supporting factor for their goals. Out of all 12 regions, respondents from this area were also the most likely to encourage their children to make a New Year’s resolution (14%) and some of the least likely to embark on solo activities like starting a blog (2%) or employing a personal trainer (3%).
However, whilst the South West group contained a high proportion of weight loss resolution-makers from previous years, people from this region are least likely to create New Year’s goals for 2017, with 24% expressing no desire to set themselves a new aim in January. 13% of respondents also admitted giving up on recent resolutions due to lack of planning, making the South West the most disorganised region when it comes to New Year’s commitments.
EAST ANGLIANS SOME OF THE WORST IN THE COUNTRY FOR STICKING TO NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS
Those from East Anglia were amongst the worst in the country for committing to their most recent New Year’s Resolution. Almost 43% of respondents quit their resolution within the first two months of making it, compared to just 29% in both the North West and North East, with 31% of East Anglians citing “not being able to get back on track after breaking their resolution” as the main reason.
Although the overwhelming goal of the respondents most recent resolution was “to lose weight”, with 45% selecting this option, it transpired that 40% of East Anglians find anything to do with diet the most difficult type of resolution to keep. Furthermore, it seems that the group from East Anglia prefer to snub professional support in favour of a more social arrangement. Only 23% of those surveyed, one of the lowest totals out of the 12 UK regions, took up the option of employing a personal trainer, buying nutritional supplements or joining a gym to support their goals, which is just short of half as those in the North East (45%). This may explain why only 4% gave up on their resolution because they considered it a financial burden.
Despite the limited success when it comes to sticking to their New Year’s Resolutions, folk in East Anglia remain undeterred with 35% vowing to make a health related goal in 2017, the highest of any region in the UK. Contrastingly, just 19% of respondents in Wales plan to do the same. The biggest motivator for survey participants in East Anglia was to improve their physical wellbeing, with 75% striving to achieve this goal, one of the highest totals in the whole of the country.
HEALTHY DIET TOP OF THE AGENDA BUT DRINKING LESS ALCOHOL AT THE BOTTOM FOR EAST MIDLANDERS
The study shown East Midlanders to have the biggest desire to change their diet and eat healthier foods. Nearly 16% opted “to eat more healthily” for their most recent resolution, the largest percentage out of 12 UK regions. In contrast, only 3% pledged to drink less alcohol, which was the lowest in the UK, with more than double that of respondents in Yorkshire and the Humber wanting to cut down on their alcohol intake.
Although 41% of respondents wanted to lose weight as part of their resolution, those in the East Midlands were the least likely in the country to turn to a personal trainer or buy nutritional supplements (11%). This compares drastically to the North East with 24% choosing to support their most recent resolution this way.
It appears that respondents in the East Midlands are amongst the most resolute in the country with 68% believing that they have the willpower to complete their latest resolution, a figure only bettered by those in London (69%). Bolstering this claim for determination, East Midlanders were the least likely to give up on a resolution in the last five years with a third of those surveyed only breaking one or less commitments, putting their West Midland rivals firmly in the shade (20%). Despite this, not everything is all rosy in the East Midlands, as only 58% consider themselves to be an optimistic person, somewhat short of the South West region at 72%.
LOSING WEIGHT IS THE BIGGEST RESOLUTION GOAL FOR THE WELSH
The biggest resolution amongst Welsh respondents was “to lose weight”, receiving just under half of the vote. The survey found that 47% of those in Wales want to drop the pounds but only 23% admitted that they want to exercise more – the lowest amount in all 12 regions of the UK that were surveyed.
Moreover, Welsh-based respondents were also the least likely to employ a personal trainer to help them with their resolution, with a mere 1.5% going down this route. A lofty 34% said they find it easier to keep a resolution with a friend, the highest in the UK, which may explain why so few opt to employ a personal trainer. Surprisingly, 6% admitted that they made their latest resolution to fulfil a promise to a family member or friend, just behind the highest region Scotland on 6.5%, however, 6% also admit they broke their resolution last time because of a lack of family and friend support. Perhaps, it’s a case of choosing your friends wisely!
Despite the lack of wanting to exercise more, the Welsh are a highly focussed group with 69% of respondents opting to make just one resolution, much higher than the Northern Irish where just over half focussed on one goal. This focussed attitude dovetails with the fact that only 2% said they set themselves unattainable goals, demonstrating that the Welsh are amongst the most realistic people in the land.
Resilience also seems to be a key attribute to Welsh respondents with 70% stating that they have repeated a resolution that they have failed to adhere to in the past. However, only 19% said they will make a health related resolution in 2017, the lowest in the UK.
SCOTS THE MOST LIKELY TO QUIT THEIR NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION DUE TO LACK OF WILLPOWER
Our survey found Scotland to be one of the most motivated regions with a hefty 40% citing “proving something to themselves” as their reason. In contrast, results populated from East Anglia demonstrate participants are less concerned with proving something to themselves and more interested in improving their physical wellbeing.
Contrary to this, almost 43% of all Scots selected “lack of willpower” as the main obstacle they faced when completing their resolution. Comparatively, out of all 12 regions, the surveyed group from Scotland exhibited the least desire with over 33% admitted to have broken their resolution more than five times in the past five years. In complete contrast, respondents in London proved to have the strongest willpower, with only 30% of participants claiming willpower was the reason for quitting.
WEST MIDLANDS ONE OF THE MOST AMBITIOUS REGIONS
Participants from the West Midlands were shown to be one of the most ambitious region, with over 13% disclosing that they aim to complete their resolution by March! In contrast, over 70% of contributors from East Anglia revealed that they set no deadline for completion of their 2016 resolution, suggesting that they are least concerned with successfully completing a health related resolution.
The results populated show that participants in the West Midlands felt pressurised into undertaking a health related resolution, explaining why participants in the West Midlands are more dedicated to attaining their fitness goals within the first few months of the year. This result was only second to Northern Ireland where a shocking 23% said they felt pressurised to get healthy.
When asked if they made increasingly less healthy choices as the year progressed a huge 66% of participants said ‘yes’. This figure showed that participants in the West Midlands were 10% more likely to maintain a healthy lifestyle as the year progressed than those in the South East. Furthermore, out of the 12 regions surveyed, those surveyed from the West Midlands were the least social region with 34% claiming they were more successful in completing their resolution alone than with friends and family.
SOUTH EAST THE TOP HOTSPOT FOR ACHIEVING THEIR REOLUTIONS WITHOUT SPENDING A PENNY!
Resolution-makers in the South East are amongst the most frugal in the UK, with 36% claiming to have spent zero pounds on their most recent New Year’s Resolution. This only being second to their South Western neighbours where a striking 38% of participants revealed they spent little money on their New Year’s Resolution in the past five years.
In contrast, North Easterners admitted to spending over £1000 on their most recent resolutions. NHS figures suggest that obesity-related hospital admissions are the highest in the North East, it is therefore unsurprising that this survey presents participants in the North East as more pressured to successfully complete their New Year’s Resolution.
Out of the 12 regions surveyed, the South East proved to be the most dedicated region. When asked to identify if they “maintained healthier choices throughout the year” an impressive 30% of participants said ‘yes’. Contrary to this, a massive 70% of Welsh participants cited “lack of willpower” as the main reason for not maintaining a healthy life style throughout the year.
To access and download all of our raw data on New Year’s Resolution click here.