The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak

January 27, 2012 at 7:44 am 4 comments

In this post a few weeks ago we had discussed how a large proportion of Indians felt that they were healthy and did not need to exert themselves to maintain their health over the long term. We also mentioned that there was a section of the population that was conscious and worried about their health and did various things to stay in good health.

An online Nielsen survey – recently mentioned in this article in the Mint – explored this health – conscious sliver of the population and some of their attitudes. Do click on the link and go through the article, it’s worth a read. Am reproducing a few paragraphs from the article below :

According to the study’s findings, almost 42% of Indian respondents considered themselves overweight. Most of them want to burn off the fat through exercise, rather than make changes to their diet to slim down. Of those trying to lose weight, 79% indicated they preferred to exercise rather than change their food habits. Those who would try the latter option also made up 65% of respondents.

Still, to say that Indians would exercise rather than diet to lose weight may be a bit of a stretch, said Ishi Khosla, a New Delhi-based health counsellor and nutritionist……“We claim and probably in our minds we think that we’d rather burn calories than opt for diets. It may not be a representative sample,” Khosla said.

Based on extensive qualitative research conducted over the past year, we’d tend towards agreeing with Ms. Khosla, in that the survey results probably reflect intention or occasional effort rather than actual regular practise. We’ve seen that most Indians are aware of the benefits of regular exercise and a healthy diet, are aware of different forms of exercise, of what goes into a healthy diet, and have every intention of exercising regularly and eating healthy food; however, only a minority actually end up doing so.

Why do most people fall short of their intentions? Do they try and then give up, or not even try? What do they do in order to stay healthy? Our next post will tell you more about this, so keep reading.



Zenobia D. Driver

Entry filed under: Consumer behavior, Consumer Trends, Health & Wellness, Market Research. Tags: , , , , .

The Escape Velocity blog – one year and 65 posts later The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak – Part 2

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Rahul Jhaveri  |  January 28, 2012 at 6:38 am

    Would a sample size of 500 people be an accurate representation of the Indian public? Also, since it was an online survey, wouldn’t that further limit the diversity of the group sampled?

    People fail to realize that staying healthy is a lifestyle choice not a one-off target driven activity. We need to exercise regularly AND eat healthy.

    There are many people who exercise think they can get away with eating whatever they want to. Also there are people who think they can diet and compensate for less exercise. They are complimentary not supplements to one another. There is probably very little information about that out there. Even dietitians or health products like McVities and Kelloggs do a lousy job promoting a lifestyle change. They are only concerned with short terms goals.


    • 2. escapevelocityblog  |  January 31, 2012 at 3:41 am

      You’re right, the sample size is small. Also, totally agree that an online survey has an inherent bias in India – that’s why we mentioned in the post that it reflects the thinking of a ‘sliver’ of the population.


  • 3. Nelson Mccreless  |  February 4, 2012 at 10:00 am

    Great post!


    • 4. escapevelocityblog  |  February 6, 2012 at 4:58 am

      Hi Nelson

      Thanks for the compliment. Do continue reading our blog..




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