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Majority of Americans don't identify as 'overweight', poll says

SALT LAKE CITY — A new Gallup poll says the majority of Americans don't identify as being overweight, despite health studies showing two-thirds of citizens are overweight or obese.

The poll asked a series of questions and 55 percent of Americans said they were "not overweight and not trying to lose weight," according to the poll. Only 18 percent of people polled identified as "overweight but not trying to lose weight" and another 18 percent identified as "overweight and trying to lose weight."

However, a recent study by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation found two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese. The study said 60 percent of women in the U.S. and 75 percent of men are overweight or obese.

The Gallup poll was conducted from 2011 to 2013 by telephone surveys and researchers found that women were more likely to say they were "somewhat" or "very" overweight than men. Of the people polled, 21 percent of women said they were overweight or trying to lose weight and only 15 percent of men said the same.

The poll also found that Americans 55 and older were more likely to identify as being overweight than people 18 to 35. Gallup summarized the poll by saying that Americans need to take a new approach to addressing the rising obesity epidemic.

"This discrepancy may suggest that addressing the obesity crisis in America must first start by convincing overweight Americans that they are indeed overweight," the study read.



Faith Heaton Jolley is a UVU graduate and currently works at KSL as head writer for ksl.com and runs the Outdoors & Recreation section. Contact her at fheaton@ksl.com.
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