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It's official: we are a nation of dieters, with nearly two-third of Aussies going on a diet in the last year, new research reveals.

And the top three reasons were to improve health and fitness, look better or after a health scare, research from Compare the Market, found.

Not surprisingly, the number increased to 74.49 per cent of women, with more than half of the men (52 per cent surveyed saying they were keen to shed a few kilos.

The survey found more than three quarters - or 75.3 per cent - went on a diet without speaking to a health professional first.

Head of Health Insurance at Compare the Market Lana Hambilton said there had been many different dieting trends, from the keto diet to intermittent fasting, come and go over the decades.

"There is a solution out there for everyone, but not every solution is good for everyone.

"We know fundamentally that a consistently healthy diet and exercise are the key to losing weight, but if people are serious about shedding the kilos, it's best to consult a health professional that can set a plan for your specific needs and ensure that you are limiting any adverse effects from trendy diets."

As for the top motivations behind the want to lose weight? A third of Australian respondents said their main motivation was a personal drive to improve their health, while a further third of Australians said that it was their dissatisfaction with their body image that pushed them over the start line.

Rounding out the top three motivators for losing weight was a health scare, with 12% of respondents also admitting that the doctor's call got them off the couch.

Men were also more likely to be motivated by increased health and fitness and a health scare to lose weight than their female counterparts.

At the same time, women were more motivated by body image dissatisfaction and beauty standards.

The research also found that more than half of Australians (55%) preferred to follow a self-planned diet, while another two-fifths (42.5%) preferred to follow a self-planned exercise regime compared to a specific diet or exercise routine.

"It's great to see so many self-motivated Australians taking their health seriously. It's this drive that will help them maintain weight loss over time, however, sometimes people need a little help along the way," Ms Hambilton said.

"One way to get help many people may overlook is through private health insurance. A portion of dietetics appointments and health management programs may be covered by private health insurance, while some policies may even contribute towards gym memberships with their doctor's sign off."

"In the more extreme cases where people are considering gastric sleeve or gastric bypass surgery, some gold tier private health insurance policies are able to cover towards this surgery, where your specialist believes this intervention to be medically necessary.

"At the end of the day, we advise anyone thinking about beginning their weight loss journey to first speak with a health professional or specialist to ensure that they get the best start they can get."

* Compare the Market surveyed 1,004 adults 18 years and over during November/December 2022.



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