More Americans Exceed 200 Pounds, But Fewer See a Need to Lose Weight

Despite growing obesity rates in the United States, new poll findings imply that Americans' enthusiasm for weight reduction may be dwindling.

According to a Gallup poll conducted in late 2019, an increasing percentage of Americans report weighing 200 pounds or more. In the preceding decade, just 24 per cent of respondents made such a claim. Males have gained an average of 4 lbs, from 192 to 196, while females have gained 3 lbs, from 156 to 159, for a total average increase of 5 lbs, bringing the average weight up to 178 lbs.

According to the poll, people's desire to lose weight has not grown along with their weight gain. The findings reveal that the number of Americans who feel their current weight is "about right" has grown from 53 to 56%, an increase of 3%, while the percentage of Americans who desire to reduce weight has decreased by 5% from 59% to 54%.

The United States is Experiencing a Rising Epidemic of Obesity

The prevalence of obesity has been steadily increasing over the last decade. This rise, and the weight-related disorders that accompany it, seem to have gained widespread acceptability. We believe that as the average person's waistline has expanded over the years, society has become acclimated to its presence.

Stanford reports that, although the rise to epidemic proportions has been slow, about 40% of American adults are overweight or obese currently. Just a tiny fraction of these patients, we believe, recognize or even suspect they have obesity.

The CDC explains that body mass index (BMI) quantifies whether a person is overweight or obese based on their specific measurements (height and weight). If your body mass index (BMI) falls between 18.5 and 24.9, you are considered to be of a healthy weight; if it is between 25 and 29.9, you are considered overweight; and if it is 30 or more, you are considered obese. Most adults under 6'4" in height who weigh more than 200 pounds fall into the "overweight" or "obese" category according to body mass index standards.

Body Mass Index Keeps Rising

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's adult body mass index calculation, a person who weighs 200 pounds but is 6 feet 4 inches or taller is not considered overweight. At the same time, most Americans who are shorter than that are classified as overweight or even obese.

Inaccuracies in self-reported weight and BMI ranges may affect the Gallup findings. On the other hand, additional in-depth research reveals the same conclusions. The National Center for Health Statistics at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention discovered in research released in 2018 that the average weight of men and women is increasing while their average height is staying about the same. Its research estimated that the national average body mass index for the United States was 30.

Disparity Between Those Who Treat Obesity and Others Who Promote Fat Acceptance

As a culture, we have moved away from fat shaming and toward encouraging an appreciation for all body types. That's encouraging but doesn't discount the significance of adopting healthful habits for one's well-being.

Health at Every Size (HAES), one of the largest groups supporting the movement, aims to challenge anti-obesity prejudice and promote body acceptance. Although the movement's ultimate aim is acceptance, it is not meant to glorify or normalize poor health.

Like many other universities, Stanford recognizes the value of promoting body acceptance and working to eliminate discrimination based on appearance, such as weight. Nonetheless, there seems to be tension between the fat acceptance movement and doctors treating obesity as an illness. There is evidence that fat leads to greater illness and earlier mortality, yet many individuals are unwilling to recognize obesity as a curable condition.

Almost 10.6 million individuals from 32 countries participated in a research published in The Lancet in August 2016 that indicated persons who were overweight or obese had an increased chance of dying prematurely and that this risk rose in proportion to the amount of extra weight they carried. Those with a body mass index (BMI) between 30 and 35 had a 45 per cent increased risk of premature mortality compared to those with a BMI within the normal range.

Several serious illnesses may be avoided if you stick to a healthy weight, including diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.

More Respondents to a Recent Survey Reported Feeling Positive About Their Weight

According to the Gallup Poll Social Series (GPSS), a collection of public opinion surveys meant to track the attitudes of American people; the data comes from the GPSS's Health and Healthcare survey. From 1990 and annually since 2001, Gallup has polled People on their current and ideal body weights.

The average American has an even more optimistic view of their ideal weight today than a decade ago. Of those asked, 14% claimed that 200 pounds or more would be their ideal weight, up from 12% between 2001 and 2009. From one decade to the next, men and women reported an increase in their ideal body weights, from 180 to 184 pounds for males and from 137 to 140 pounds for women.

According to Stanford, one may have a healthy sense of self-worth while realizing they need adjustments to reach a healthier weight. Feeling good about yourself doesn't have to be contingent on your size, and there are plenty of reasons to celebrate regardless of weight.

Instead of worrying about your body mass index or weight, Stanford suggests concentrating on your health. The body mass index (BMI) isn't always the most accurate indicator of a person's health status or optimal weight.


Others have even gone so far as to call obesity a pandemic. According to the most current National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, nearly 70% of American adults are overweight or obese.

A number of the major causes of mortality in the United States are associated with being overweight or obese. This includes cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, and various types of cancer. Possible links between obesity and the United States steadily declining life expectancy have been proposed. Overweight adults had a greater than 114% rise in death rates between the ages of 30 and 50, according to research published this week in JAMA.

Obesity therapy is made more difficult by the underlying causes of the condition. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that certain individuals may be genetically inclined to have a higher appetite, which increases their risk of becoming fat.

Updated on: 07-Apr-2023


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