Study: Only Half Of Those Hoping To Lose Weight Are ‘Seriously Trying’ To Do So

ATLANTA (CBS Atlanta) – A recent survey has found that approximately half of Americans want to lose weight – and only about a quarter of the same population are seriously trying to do anything about it.

The Gallup Poll, conducted earlier this month by asking 1,039 randomly selected American adults about their health and habits, discovered that 51 percent of Americans would like to shed pounds.

Many of those folks may be right in wanting to lose weight – statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that more than a third of adults in the United States are obese. And in addition to carrying excess weight, that 35.7 percent of American adults are also saddled with health and financial consequences.

“Obesity-related conditions include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer, some of the leading causes of preventable death,” the CDC website states. “[Also, t]he estimated annual medical cost of obesity in the U.S. was $147 billion in 2008 U.S. dollars; the medical costs for people who are obese were $1,429 higher than those of normal weight.”

However, though just over half of all adults in the nation want to lose weight, only 25 percent said they are “seriously trying” to become healthier.

“Americans’ desire to lose weight has not kept up with the rise in adults’ self-reported weight over the past 23 years,” a release on the poll’s findings noted. “Americans report weighing an average of 15 pounds more now than in 1990, but the percentage who want to lose weight is the same now as it was then.”

Researchers involved in polling said that many in the United States view obesity as a more critical and serious issue “than alcohol and smoking,” yet the disconnect remains for many between wanting to lose weight and actively trying to do so.

“It is possible that some Americans who are overweight but not seriously trying to lose weight lack the motivation needed to consistently practice healthy behaviors,” those involved in the study noted in the release. “Gallup’s previous research shows that Americans’ eating habits are worsening in 2013, and fewer adults reported exercising frequently in the first half of the year. Additionally, Americans continue to frequent fast-food restaurants and do not pay much attention to restaurant nutrition information.”

The release added, “If these trends continue, it does not bode well for the possibility that more Americans will make a serious effort to lose weight.”

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