Fitness More Interesting Than Diets To Searchers
Are people waking up to the idea that exercise is the best way to lose weight? Maybe. Traditionally, Internet searches for burning off those holiday pounds spike the first week of the year. But this year, according to Hitwise, there’s been an increase in gym interest and a decline in search queries involving the keyword “diet.”
At least that’s the way it is in the United Kingdom. Across the Pond traffic to gym and health club websites spiked increased 14 percent compared this time last year. Searches for “diet” and “diets” have fallen by 20 percent and 50 percent respectively.
Hitwise research director Robin Goad lumps in “detox” with diets, and finds a small increase, likely influenced by rapper Dr. Dre’s long-awaited album, which is in reference to a different kind of detox.
Hitwise general manager Bill Tancer finds a similar increase in traffic to gym websites and notes how men in particular become suddenly concerned with getting in shape after the holidays. The rest of the year gym traffic is dominated by women.
A quick look on Google Trends reveals the term “fitness” exceeds searches for “diet,” “diet pills,” and “gastric bypass.” It may be a matter of semantics, though. Another comparison shows the term “exercise” is only half as popular as “diet” with a definite spike for both at the end of December.
But that fitness beat out dieting is a positive development, as is the fact that dieting beat out diet pills and invasive surgery. A review of search trends for the last days of December and first days of January reflect what we already know: people are still mostly couch potatoes, driven to search online about what they see, or want to see, on television.
But fad diets are still out there. Shortly after the “flat belly diet” and so-called “Sassy water” appeared on NBC’s Today show, searches spiked predictably. Others have shown interest in Chantel Hobbs’ “Brain Change” diet, the “Eat-Clean Diet,” and Dr. Siegal’s “Cookie Diet.”
Dr. Siegal recommends his weight-loss cookies, not the Girl Scout Cookies people are actively searching for at the moment also. Dang Girl Scouts. How can one expect to stick to a diet when they come peddling in the middle of diet season?
One has to wonder if the economy isn’t also a culprit in the rise of fitness interest. Diets are expensive sometimes, so is healthy food in America. But, like in Rocky IV, exercise can be accomplished anywhere for free.