A new poll has found that a lot more adults in the United States are happy with their weight and they do not intend to shed any pounds.
The Gallup poll – a well known barometer of American opinion – found that less than half of Americans (49 percent) said that they wanted to lose weight. According to the poll, it is the first time in twenty-five years that this has happened. For instance, in 2004, the number of adults in the United States who reported wanting to lose weight was 62 percent.
Based on the poll which was conducted between November 4 and November 8, about 37 percent of Americans reported that they were somewhat or very overweight, while 56 percent said that they considered their weight to be almost ‘ideal’.
That being said, obesity is actually on the rise in the United States. Dr. Holly Lofton, the director of the Medical Weight Management Program at New York University Langone Medical Center, said that a lot of people are currently either overweight or obese, which may explain why most Americans think that they are at a normal weight, when in fact they are not.
People who are actually in the ‘normal’ weight range are a minority, since more than half of adults in the United States (about 66 percent) are overweight or obese, according to Dr. Lofton. They may think that they are of a normal weight but by American standards, not by medical standards, she added. Individuals with a body mass index (BMI) between 18.5 and 24.9 are considered to be in a ‘normal’ weight range.
According to Dr. Lofton, beauty standards for women also appear to be shifting, which is not necessarily a bad thing. It is a good thing for body image and confidence, but at the same time, people should not neglect their health, she said.
Lofton also noted that a normal BMI range does not necessarily indicate that a person is healthy. There are people in the normal BMI range with prediabetes, and others who fall in the overweight range, but are metabolically healthy.
Recent guidelines from the American Heart Association (as well as other health organisations) advised people who are overweight but who are overall healthy, to maintain their weight, rather than try to lose weight.
The Gallup poll also found that although 49 percent Americans reported wanting to lose weight, only about 24 percent of them were doing something in thas regard. Dr. Lofton said that some people may say that they want to lose weight, only because they are influenced by all the information about weight loss that they see on a daily.
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