Majority of Americans Want to Lose Weight, But Less Than Half Actually Try

    December 2, 2013

In addition to shopping, the Thanksgiving holiday is largely about food. Families across the U.S. last week stuffed themselves with a variety of traditional foods including Turkey, Pumpkin Pie, and

Though Americans look forward to holiday feasts, it seems that more and more of them are feasting throughout the rest of the year. The American Medical Association is now calling obesity a disease to focus more attention on the issue and the U.S. Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is now referring to obesity levels in the U.S. as an epidemic.

Americans are well aware of their increasing size, though. A new Gallup poll shows that just over half of Americans (51%) would like to lose weight. However, that desire doesn’t seem to manifest in any action from most of those same people. The poll also shows that just 25% of Americans are “seriously trying to lose weight.”

The poll also found that 36% of Americans describe themselves as “overweight,” which is roughly the same percentage of Americans that are classified as obese, according to the CDC. Nearly twice that number (69%) of Americans would be considered overweight or obese. However, 59% of those polled stated that they are above their ideal weight, showing again that Americans are aware of their size even as they avoid the term overweight.

The reasons behind Americans’ larger size aren’t a mystery. Gallup polls in the past few years have shown that fewer Americans are exercising frequently, while at the same time American eating habits have declined and fast food has become a diet staple.

Another Gallup poll has found that Americans consider obesity a bigger health problem than smoking. Until those same Americans begin individually doing something about it, however, the country is likely to continue on its current trends.