Indians are twice more likely to exercise than diet to stay healthy
April 5th, 2019, Deepa Bhatia

Indians are twice more likely to exercise than diet to stay healthy

While 1 in 2 currently exercise to stay healthy, 1 in 10 intend on starting soon

People in India are twice as likely to exercise than diet in order to stay healthy, YouGov’s new research reveals.

On the occasion of World Health Day, we questioned people about what steps do they take to be in good shape.

The study shows that at present, more than 1 in 2 people (53%) say they exercise regularly while 1 in 5 (21%) follow a specific diet in order to stay healthy. However, around 1 in 10 (9%) are likely to start exercising while almost half of these (5%) intend to follow a diet in the future to be in good trim.

Of those who currently exercise, more than half (55%) practice yoga, while under half (45%) run. As compared to males, a higher number of women are currently indulging in Yoga (65% vs 47%) and Zumba (21% vs 5%).


2 in 5 people either workout at the gym (39%) or brisk walk (38%), a fourth (25%) play some kind of sport while a fifth (21%) swim in order to stay healthy.

On the other hand, from those who said they follow a diet in order to stay fit, low-carb diets seem to be the most popular. 1 in 3 (31%) have tried a low-carb diet, 1 in 8 have tried a ketogenic diet (12%) or Atkins diet (11%), and 1 in 25 (4%) have experimented with a Dukan or a Paleo diet.


Just under a quarter have tried being vegan (24%) while 1 in 6 have explored intermittent fasting (17%) or an ultra-low-fat diet (16%). Just above a quarter (26%) have never tried following any diet plans.

When looking for diet plans, it seems we Indians prefer a more personal approach rather than a professional one. 2 in 5 either look up a diet online or on an app (39%) or take recommendations from others (38%) and 1 in 3 (30%) rely on their own knowledge and do what is good for their body. 37% prefer taking an expert opinion and consult a nutritionist or doctor to guide them on the best diet plans.

Exercising seems to be more popular than dieting to maintain good health both among those who follow a healthy routine at present and those who intend to adopt one in the future.

In general, 7 in 10 people (71%) said they drink enough water in order to stay healthy. Around 3 in 5 people either stay happy and positive (60%) or get enough sleep (58%) for sound health.

Just over half eat lots of fruits and vegetables (52%), around half avoid indulging in substances like alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs (49%) and just under half never miss breakfast (47%).

While most people take some step to stay healthy, 1 in 7 (14%) are happy with their current lifestyle and do not intend to add any healthy habits to their daily routine.

Data collected online by YouGov Omnibus among around 500 respondents in India in March 2019 using YouGov’s panel of over 6 million people worldwide. Data is representative of the adult online population in the country.