TODAY   |  January 05, 2013

Weight loss tops the 2013 resolution list

Nearly half of all Americans make New Year’s resolutions and of those, almost 40 percent are related to weight loss. Success rates are low, but odds increase when people include the support of friends or families in their new lifestyle choices. TODAY’s Erica Hill reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> it's that time of year when mean people make a new year's resolution to lose weight . for many, those efforts to shed pounds sadly never seemed to pay off.

>> losing weight as we know takes hard work and perseverance. making a resolution, of course, doesn't really take quite as much effort which may be why so many people just talk about getting in shape.

>> my resolution is to go to the gym more.

>> my resolution is to gain weight. every other year i wanted to lose weight and i gained.

>> it's that time of year again, promises of self-improvement and a better life . topping the chart this year, weight loss .

>> people start resolutions out of guilt. they've gone from the binge to thanksgiving to new year's and are looking for a change.

>> reporter: no-holds-barred in the dieting game. weight loss commercials fill the airwaves.

>> shake, shake --

>> slim-fast controls your hunger.

>> lose over 50 pounds.

>> i invite you --

>> i lost 30 pounds just like that.

>> reporter: health clubs promote discounts, new books, products, apps flood the marketplace just in time for resolution makers to tame their temptations.

>> it's a resolution i love. they're about 8% at the end of the year.

>> i hate when i come to the gym in january. you see these resolution people are kind of like people who only go to church on the holidays.

>> reporter: nearly half of americans make new year's resolutions. of those, almost 40% are related to weight loss .

>> i really want to get here every day.

>> reporter: studies show the only thing that's dropped in the end is usually the resolution. one way to try to combat that, by involving others. web sites like hoytwage diet bet and stick have tried to make it fun and competitive.

>> okay. everybody, i'm inviting you to --

>> reporter: they offer dieters a chance to milk a game out of weight loss . putting cash up to keep their weight down.

>> no one in this office wants to lose.

>> reporter: but losing at least for now is exactly what's on the mind of millions of americans as they work to keep those resolutions well into the new year.