Tell me if you’ve heard these statistics:

  • 95% of diets fail.
  • A 40 year old woman is more likely to be killed by a terrorist than to get married.
  • Or how about this one: Half of all married couples will divorce.

But are these statistics we’ve heard for so long still true? Here’s the real deal from Oprah’s “O” magazine.

  • We’ll start with the 95% of diets fail. Here’s the truth: 20% of dieters succeed at long-term weight loss. So what’s changed? Well, a lot – because that original statistic came from a study done 45 years ago. And it was wrong to begin with! It came from a 1959 study that found, out of 100 obese patients on diets, 98 percent failed to lose weight or keep it off after two years. The author of the original study, Dr. Albert Stunkard, says he’s shocked that people are still using his old data. The more recent and correct information – the 20% success rate of dieters – was done by researchers at the National Weight Control Registry, and they studied more than 5-thousand diets. So keep that information in mind and aim to become one of the 20%.
  • Let’s move on to women over 40 being more likely to be shot by a terrorist than to get married. Wrong! Here’s the real deal: A 40 year old woman has a 40% chance of finding a husband. The original information came from a study done 20 years ago by Harvard and Yale and it made big, splashy headlines on the cover of Newsweek. And back then, the chances of getting shot by a terrorist were slim to none. Today, thanks to second marriages, people marrying later in life, and having children later in life, a never-been-married 40 year old has a 40% chance of tying the knot.
  • And finally, how about this: Half of all married couples will end up divorced. Unfortunately, it’s still true. However, if a couple is over the age of 25 when they marry, and if they wait at least 7 months after the wedding to have their first child, their chance of divorce drops dramatically. In fact, it’s cut in half!