Fat and happy: Nearly 30% of Americans are over 200 pounds – and 10% fewer want to lose weight, survey finds
- 28% of US adults said they weighed 200 pounds or more during the past decade compared to 24% during the period between 2001 to 2009
- In the 2010s, 38% said they are ‘very’ or ‘somewhat’ overweight in comparison with 41% in the 2000s
- 54% of Americans said they said they want to lose weight from 2010 to 2019, a nearly 10% drop from 59% that said they did in the previous decade
More Americans weighed above 200 pounds in the 2010s than in the decade prior, new research has found.
Between 2001 and 2009, 24 percent of US adults reported weighing at least 200 pounds, according to Gallup’s Health and Healthcare survey.
But, from 2010 to 2019, that number increased to 28 percent.
Surprisingly, to the researchers, more Americans seem to be comfortable with their increasing weight – with 10 percent fewer adults saying they wanted to lose weight in the 2010s than did in the 2000s.
A new survey from Gallup has found that 28% of adults reported weighing at least 200 pounds or more in the 2010s compared to the 24 % that did in the previous decade (file image)
For the survey, pollsters interviewed more than 1,000 American adults and asked them what their current weight was, how they would describe themselves and if they wanted to lose weight.
Between 2010 and 2019, 42 percent of men said they weighed at least 200 pounds, an increase from 38 percent from 2001 to 2009.
And for women, 14 percent weighed 200 pounds or more during the 2010s, up from 12 percent in the prior decade.
But, as the weight of the population rises, fewer people described themselves as being ‘very’ or ‘somewhat’ overweight.
In the 2010s, 38 percent of Americans said they are very or somewhat overweight in comparison with 41 percent who gave the same answers in the aughts.
Meanwhile, the number of US adults who say their weight is ‘about right’ rose from 53 percent to 56 percent.
Additionally, many Americans appear content with their weight and said they aren’t looking to drop any pounds.
About 54 percent of American said they said they want to lose weight from 2010 to 2019, a nearly 10 percent drop from the 59 percent that wanted to lose weight from 2001 to 2009.
Obesity is known as a risk factor for several chronic health conditions including type 2 diabetes, strokes, heart attack and even certain types of cancer.
Health officials say that addressing the obesity epidemic will not only lead to better health outcomes but also reduce medical costs.
In 2012, a study from Cornell University in New York found obesity accounts for about 21 percent of total US health care costs, approximately $190.2 billion per year.
Experts have warned that the proportion of obese adults will only grow as younger generations do.
Over the last two decades, the US has implemented countless awareness programs aimed at both adults and children to try to combat the obesity epidemic.
Former first lady Michelle Obama became a model for healthier children while her husband was in office, spearheading the ‘Let’s Move’ campaign, designed to motivate children to eat healthier and stay active in an effort to promote overall health.
However, the Gallup researchers say the findings suggest there has been a lack of success in combating obesity.
‘Despite these efforts, policies and popular diets, more Americans, on average, weigh at least 200 pounds this decade than last,’ the authors wrote.
‘Americans also appear more comfortable with their increased weight and less likely to want to act to lose weight.
‘The current efforts to address the issue have evidently not been sufficient, and a new approach is likely warranted to convince Americans of the need to curb their weight.’