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Pew: Most See Obesity As Health Concern, Do Not Think Government Should Act

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File photo of a person filling a cup with soda. (Photo Illustration by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

File photo of a person filling a cup with soda. (Photo Illustration by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

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ATLANTA (CBS Atlanta) – A recent survey suggests that the majority of Americans feel obesity is cause for significant concern, but do not think that it is up to the government to intervene with policies that may result in healthier eating habits.

According to the Pew Research Center, 69 percent of study participants said that obesity is a public health issue, and 63 percent also felt that obesity impacts society on a broader level beyond the individual.

People are not wrong to be concerned. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, an estimated 35.7 percent of all American adults are obese. Additionally, about 17 percent of children are considered obese.

However, 54 percent of respondents also said that the government should not take on a significant role in trying to reverse the trend, while many were supportive of less invasive means of intervention.

“The new national survey … finds that two-thirds (67 percent) favor requiring chain restaurants to list calorie counts on menus. But just 31 percent support limits on the size of sugary soft drinks in restaurants and convenience stores – 67 percent oppose this idea,” researchers noted in a release on the study’s findings. “More than half (55 percent) favor banning TV ads of unhealthy foods during children’s programming, but barely a third (35 percent) supports raising taxes on sugary soft drinks and unhealthy foods.”

The release also notes, “On each of these policies, Democrats and women are more supportive than Republicans, independents and men.”

The survey, which polled 2,003 randomly selected adults throughout the United States, was conducted between Oct. 30 and Nov. 6 of this year.

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