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60% of Australians have embarked on a weight loss journey

Reviewed by Head of Health Insurance, Lana Hambilton
4 min read
15 Jun 2023

We’ve all seen dieting trends come and go around, and it seems that Australians may have a habit of trying them out. That is according to research from Compare the Market, which found that nearly two-thirds of Australians (62.2%) surveyed have gone on a diet*.

And while it’s commendable that so many Aussies have tried to live healthier lives, of those who have tried to lose weight, more than three-quarters (75.3%) did so without speaking to a health professional.

Lana Hambilton, Head of Health Insurance at Compare the Market spoke about finding a healthy solution to lose weight.

“We’ve seen dieting trends come and go over the decades, from the keto diet to intermittent fasting. There is a solution out there for everyone, but not every solution is good for everyone,” Ms Hambilton said.

“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.”

Unsurprisingly, the research found that women were more likely to state that they have started a diet (74%), however, over half of male respondents were also eager to shed a few kilos (52%).

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.

Motivation for weight lossWomenMenAverage
Improve health and fitness30.14%37.35%33.0%
Dissatisfaction with body image36.71%19.84%29.8%
A health scare8.49%16.73%11.9%
Societal pressures/beauty standards10.41%5.06%8.2%
Dissatisfaction with physical limits2.74%8.17%5.0%
Pressure from family/friends/relationship5.21%3.50%4.6%
Inspiration from someone who lost weight4.38%4.67%4.5%
Improve my health for my loved ones1.92%4.67%3.0%

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.


For interviews and more information, please contact:

Noémi Hadnagy | m: 0433 377 252 | e: [email protected]    

Compare the Market is a comparison service that takes the hard work out of shopping around. We make it Simples for Australians to quickly and easily compare and buy insurance, energy, travel and home loans products from a range of providers. Our easy-to-use comparison tool helps you look for a range of products that may suit your needs and benefit your back pocket.


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avatar of author: Noémi Hadnagy

Written by Noémi Hadnagy

As a Media and Comms Advisor, Noémi works closely with a variety of expert teams at Compare the Market to create compelling and informative pieces to help Australians make better financial decisions. Noémi holds a Bachelor of Business - International majoring in Public Relations from Queensland University of Technology as well as a Bachelor of Business Administration specialising in International Business from BI Norwegian Business School. In her spare time, you can find her reading a book or planning her next international holiday.

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