Archive for Friday, August 7, 2009

Most Americans don’t think they have a big weight problem

August 7, 2009


— Despite government data that show a dramatic increase in obesity in the United States over the past 20 years, most Americans don’t think they have much of a weight problem, according to a new McClatchy-Ipsos poll.

The survey found that only 17 percent of those surveyed thought that obesity was a major problem for their families and themselves, while 33 percent said it was a minor problem and 49 percent said it was no problem at all.

Two-thirds judged themselves at healthy weights, and while 30 percent acknowledged that they were overweight, only 4 percent said they were very overweight.

That’s not how the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sees the problem. Last year, the CDC reports, only one state — Colorado — had a prevalence of obesity of less than 20 percent. Thirty-two states had prevalences of 25 percent or greater, and six of those states — Alabama, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia — had prevalences of obesity of 30 percent or more.

The latest Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey data show that obesity in the U.S. is getting worse, said Liping Pan, a CDC epidemiologist and the lead author of the CDC’s obesity report. “If this trend continues we will likely see increases in health care costs for obesity-related diseases.”

Dr. William Dietz, the director of the CDC’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity, said obesity was a major risk factor for several chronic ailments such as heart disease and diabetes.

“As obesity increases among all age groups, we are seeing chronic diseases in much younger adults compared to a few decades ago,” Dietz said. “For example, we now see young adults who suffer from heart-disease risk factors and other conditions such as Type 2 diabetes that were unheard of in the past.”

The McClatchy-Ipsos survey found that 75 percent of Americans think the most effective way to combat obesity is through education about the importance of exercise and a healthy diet, but so far, apparently, the CDC’s education efforts are falling short.


BrianR 8 years, 9 months ago

Almost everybody will tell you they're a good driver too.

As isolated as people are it doesn't surprise me at all that only 17% surveyed think America has a weight problem. Obviously they've never been to a Wal-Mart.

loloen 8 years, 9 months ago

It seems to me if EVERYONE has a weight problem, then NO ONE is obese/overweight. Obesity/overweight becomes normal. That's why if people have grown up in communities with higher percentages of obese/overweight people, those within the community don't see they have a problem.

Vanity sizing by the fashion industry also doesn't help. I'm 32, had two children and wear a size 10. In high school, I was about 10 pounds thinner and wore a SIZE 10. Sizing is plain different (and more generous) than it was 15 years ago.

What's shocking is seeing how many overweight/obese children there are in Lawrence alone that are under 12 years of age. You can blame it on a lot of things, but when it comes right down to it, it's from passive parenting. It's not genetic, it's not hormonal, it's too many sugary snacks and fast food meals and not encouraging enough exercise.

The law of thermodynamics applies. You must burn the same calories you ingest, otherwise you will gain weight. I feel bad for our children. We are sending them to an early grave.

puddleglum 8 years, 9 months ago

I am fat and hungry for a cheeseburger.

does that count?

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 8 years, 9 months ago

I'd be the first to admit that I have a "big wait" problem.

puddleglum 8 years, 9 months ago

bacon sounds pretty good right now also.

pace 8 years, 9 months ago

I am a hundred pound over but it is not grease weight it is butter, isn't that better.

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