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Most People Don’t Hold Back on Holiday Eating, Poll Finds

A telephone poll of 1,035 adults just released by CNN/ORC International show that 53 percent of Americans don’t hold back from eating Christmas holiday foods and treats, and instead indulge themselves because it’s a special time of the year.

The poll results, which tracked responses over a four-day period just before Christmas, showed a 6 percent gain over a similar poll conducted in 2006 in the number of respondents saying they would indulge in holiday foods.

However, the 2013 poll jibed with the results of a 1996 poll, indicating that adult Americans have taken a slight see-saw approach to the topic over the years.

Other results showed:

• The group most likely to wolf down holiday goodies was 18 to 34 year olds, with 64 percent saying they eat what they like at Christmas.

• In contrast, only 40 percent of seniors, people 65 and older, said they would let down their food guards.

• Men were more inclined to loosen their dietary inhibitions, with 57 percent saying they would compared to 49 percent of women.

The poll even queried respondents regarding where they lived and their political party affiliations. It found that the groups most likely to restrain their holiday eating were Midwesterners and Republicans (41 percent), while rural residents and Democrats were somewhat less likely to do so (31 percent).

(Pollsters said that 43 percent of the people they interviewed in the poll described themselves as political independents.)

Guilt over Christmas indulgence didn’t seem to inspire many who answered the poll. While 23 percent said they’d be “very likely” to begin a post-holiday weight-loss routine, 38 percent said flat out that going on a diet simply wasn’t in the cards.

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