In the three weeks following the New Year, searches for the Atkins Diet tripled making it more popular than Britney Spears and Harry Potter -- at least according to the number of searches done on the search engine Lycos. According to Lycos, searches for diet and exercise terms always surge the first of the year, but this year they jumped even more than usual. The top 10 diet and exercise searches for the week ending Jan. 11: Atkins Diet, Weight Watchers, Diets, BMI, Low Carb Diets, Pilates, Curves for Women, Weight Loss, Fitness, Nutrition.
The searches for the women's-only gym Curves stormed to the top this year, Lycos reported. Last year, it was the second most-searched national fitness club chain, behind Bally Total Fitness. This year, searches for the gym tripled and generated double the activity as Bally did. While overall search activity for exercise- and diet-related terms remained constant from 2001 to 2002, searches specifically asking for women's fitness have doubled, the site reported. Other fitness trends from 2002: an increase in online interest for Pilates, up 50 percent from 2001; and searches for weight training, up 20 percent. Searches for yoga, tai chi and aerobics all fell.
SNEWS View: Interesting that despite all the associations, media and manufacturers noting an increased interest in yoga that searches for it declined, while pure "fitness" that harks back to Jazzercise of the '70s (Curves) increased. We wonder if the yoga swell has reached a peak and those who will do, are indeed doing, while those who won't do are done looking. Pilates, on the other hand, is another mind-body-related practice in which interest lagged slightly behind yoga, and now it has bypassed yoga. Still, general fitness queries hang in there, meaning there will always be people who just want to ride a bike, walk on a treadmill or take a jog.