PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y. --
The number of Americans following a specific diet declined again last year, according to the NPD Group‘s 21st annual “Eating Patterns in America” report released here yesterday. However, the number of Americans who claim to follow a diet they created themselves continues to increase. Only 26% of female and 19% of male respondents said that they dieted in 2006 -- the lowest level of dieting activity witnessed since 1990. Analysts at NPD said that Americans tend to diet more as they get older, and attributed the decline to the baby-boom generation, which seems to be avoiding, ignoring or simply getting less dietary advice from their physicians than previous generations. For respondents who did claim to follow a diet, “my own diet” was the most popular response, followed by a physician-prescribed diet. Weight watchers, low-fat diets and low-calorie diets rounded out the top 5 choices, while the low carbohydrate Atkins diet fell to 6th place. The study also reports that 60% of adults would like to lose 20 pounds.