Americans know they’re overweight and they’re notparticularly happy about it. But that doesn’t mean they’re going todo much about it.

|

A new poll from Gallup finds that 31 percent of American adultssay they are at least 20 pounds above their ideal weight. For men,the average ideal weight is 183 pounds; for women it is 139pounds.

|

The great majority of that group (85 percent) estimates thatthey are overweight. And an even bigger proportion (90 percent) saythey would like to lose weight. But only 48 percent say they are“seriously trying to lose weight.”

|

Keep in mind, those who say they are above their ideal weight donot necessarily consider themselves overweight in a medical sense.As the poll results reveal, for many people, the “ideal weight” isas much an aesthetic concept as a health concept.

|

For instance, among those who say they are between one and 19pounds over their ideal weight, only 27 percent say they considerthemselves overweight. While 58 percent say they would like to slimdown, only 24 percent report taking meaningful steps to doso.

|

Women are more likely to believe they are at least 20 poundsover their ideal weight (35 percent) than men (29 percent). Thosewith annual incomes below $30,000 are also far more likely (37percent) than those who make more than $75,000 (28 percent) toreport the same thing.

|

The frequency with which Americans report being significantlyheavier than ideal increases consistently with age for the firsthalf-century of adulthood, with 21 percent of those between 18-29saying they are 20 pounds above their preferred weight, compared to40 percent of those between the ages of 60-69. However, it dropsagain later life — it’s only 27 percent of those over70.

|

Married men (32 percent) are more likely to report being wellabove ideal weight than unmarried men (25 percent), but there isnot a statistically significantly difference in weight perceptionsbetween married and unmarried women, of whom 35 percent and 36percent, respectively, report being 20 pounds above their desiredweight.

|

Those who lack health insurance, those who receive coveragethrough a public program and those with private coverage are allequally likely to report being too heavy.

Complete your profile to continue reading and get FREE access to BenefitsPRO, part of your ALM digital membership.

  • Critical BenefitsPRO information including cutting edge post-reform success strategies, access to educational webcasts and videos, resources from industry leaders, and informative Newsletters.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM, BenefitsPRO magazine and BenefitsPRO.com events
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including ThinkAdvisor.com and Law.com
NOT FOR REPRINT

© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from www.copyright.com. All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.