A new study has found that while eight out of 10 Americans feel they have control over their eating habits, a significant number of people eat in "response to feelings" rather than when they are really hungry.
Rachel Ferdinando, vice president, alli, GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare, said: "America's unhealthy relationship with food touches everyone.
"Our study showed that many Americans are engaging in mindless or emotional eating habits-that is, eating without thinking about nutritional value or portion size, or eating in response to feelings instead of to hunger. These unhealthy habits can lead to weight gain and are contributing to our burgeoning obesity crisis. It's time we look at our relationship with food through this lens so people can begin to understand why they overeat and learn healthier habits for life."
Researchers telephonically surveyed a sample of 2,001 Americans aged 18 and older to come up with their findings.
It was seen that eight out 10 respondents (79percent) were satisfied with the state of their personal eating habits while two-thirds (67percent) confessed to practicing poor eating habits on at least a weekly basis, including skipping meals and eating when they were not hungry.
However, about three-quarters of the participants (73percent) said most Americans had an unhealthy relationship with food. Nearly 52percent believed an immediate family member to have an unhealthy relationship with food, while over four in 10 (44percent) were worried about a spouse's eating habits.
Brad Lamm, a board-registered interventionist and founder and president of Intervention Specialists who contributed in designing the poll for GSK, said:
"It's clear from this survey that people recognize poor eating habits, such as mindless or emotional eating, on a societal level and in other individuals, but they don't identify the problem in themselves-even though they admit to specific unhealthy eating habits.
"We need to help people connect the dots so they see their own poor eating habits and mindless eating, identify the causes, and address them with sustainable solutions."