Over 50s fast after festive feasting

Thursday 3 December 2015

• One in four over 50s go on a diet in January • Average diet in the New Year lasts 29 days

Over 50s fast after festive feasting

Turkey, mince pies and mulled wine are just some of the reasons more than half of over 50s gain weight over the festive period, but one in four are quick to try and shift the Christmas bulge in the New Year, according to research by Saga Health Insurance*.

The over 50s favourite festive foods are Christmas cake or mince pies (48%), a turkey dinner with all the trimmings (41%) and savoury snacks (40%). Four out of ten people have a sweet tooth and eat lots of chocolate in December, while the same number of people say they enjoy a tipple.

Attending lots of Christmas parties and indulging in all their favourite treats means the over 50s to gain three pounds on average over the festive period; with a small number of people putting on around half a stone (2%).

However, the over 50s are body conscious and weigh themselves every week (43%) and it seems that Christmas time is no exception, as three quarters step on the scales over the festive period to make sure they don’t put on too much weight.

People are keen to lose any pounds they put on over Christmas (24%). While women are the most likely to cut back as soon as the holidays are over with one in three going on a diet after Christmas, one in five men are quick to swap the turkey for the treadmill in the hope of shifting any excess winter weight.

The over 50s New Year diet lasts around 29 days on average which is just long enough to lose the three pounds that they gained over Christmas.

Saga Health Insurance offers customers a free health information helpline so if they are struggling to shift any excess weight they can speak to a team of healthcare professionals 365 days a year.

Kevin McMullan, Senior Manager of Health Insurance at Saga, commented: “It’s easy to over indulge at Christmas as the supermarket shelves are stacked with everyone’s favourite treats, whether that’s mince pies or Quality Street. But doing some exercise and sticking to that diet in the New Year will help you shift any excess weight and help you lead a healthy and active life.” 



Notes to Editors

*Populus interviewed 9,986 people aged 50 and over online between 20th and 26th October 2015. Results have been weighted to be representative of all GB adults. Populus is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. For more information visit www.populus.co.uk.


About Saga Health Insurance

At Saga, we specialise in understanding the needs of people over 50 and we have been providing quality private health insurance for more than 25 years.

Our health insurance offers:

  •     Comprehensive range of plans at competitive prices
  •     Prompt access to private medical treatment
  •     Access to a wide choice of UK private hospitals
  •     No upper age limit and no medical required

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