Commentary

Science Trumps Fad In New Year's Wellbeing Resolutions

Science Trumps Fad In New Year's Wellbeing Resolutions

According to their recent report, visits to the Hitwise Health and Medical - Wellbeing category, which contains diet, health and fitness sites, increased by 8 percent in the final week of 2005 compared to the final week of 2004.

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Losing weight and getting in shape are among the most popular New Year's resolutions, and as seen in previous years, the Internet continues to play a pivotal role in providing guidance for slimming down and shaping up.

The report notes that "what is intriguing is the shift in interest from low-carb and fad diets to more scientific and balanced approaches, as indicated by the top search terms for the Health & Medical - Wellbeing Category."

Sites showing the biggest increases in market share during that period were:

  • Spark People, up 148 percent
  • Nutrisystem, up 130 percent
  • Jenny Craig, up 40 percent

Visits to The Biggest Loser Club increased by 69 percent for the week ending Dec. 31, 2005 versus the previous week.

Hitwise Search Intelligence data suggest that this year's dieters are less focused on fad diets and are interested in a more scientific, balanced approach to dieting and fitness. The share of Internet searches for "glycemic index," "body mass index" and "weight training" were up 161%, 67%, and 61% respectively, for the week ending Dec. 31, 2005 versus the week ending Jan. 1, 2005. In the same time period, searches for "atkins diet" and "south beach diet" were down by 12% and 36% respectively.

Bill Tancer, General Manager of Research at Hitwise, said "Internet visit and search data appear to show a shift in dieting philosophy. Our data is indicating that low-carb/no-carb diets are falling out of favor, as Internet users appear to be researching exercise and common sense nutrition."

"Online dieting sites shed light on the staying power of our New Year's resolutions" said Tancer.

Top 10 Online Diet Sites by Market Share of Internet VisitsWeek ending December 31, 2005

Rank

Name

Domain

Market Share

1

Weight Watchers

www.weightwatchers.com

50.66%

2

WebMD Weight Loss Clinic

diet.webmd.com

13.33%

3

Nutrisystem.com

www.nutrisystem.com

13.17%

4

eDiets

www.ediets.com

4.35%

5

Jenny Craig

www.jennycraig.com

4.10%

6

The Biggest Loser Club

www.biggestloserclub.com

3.78%

7

South Beach Diet

www.southbeachdiet.com

3.20%

8

Anne Collins Diet

www.annecollins.com

2.57%

9

FitDay

www.fitday.com

2.49%

10

SparkPeople.com

www.sparkpeople.com

2.36%

Source: Hitwise, December 2005

Top Search Terms Sending Traffic to Health & Medical - Wellbeing Categoryweek ending 12/31/05

Diets

Exercise

weight watchers

24 hour fitness

south beach diet

curves

jenny craig

bodybuilding.com

nutrisystem

golds gym

la weight loss

bally total fitness

diets

la fitness

weight loss

total gym

atkins diet

weight training

weightwatchers.com

lifetime fitness

glycemic index

bodybuilding

Source: Hitwise, December 2005

For more analysis on online trends, please visit Hitwise USA

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