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Americans Are in Denial about Their Weight

Americans think the United States has a big problem with obesity—they just don’t think they are part of that problem, according to a study by Catalyst Healthcare Research, Nashville, TN.

The study, which surveyed 1,500 people, found that 60 percent of those surveyed see obesity as America’s No. 1 public health threat. However, they see themselves as being in good health even though 60 percent of the group had BMIs that put them at overweight or obese. Half of the respondents said they don’t exercise at all or are only active through naturally occurring exercises throughout the day. Of the obese and overweight participants, 72 percent said they were either in excellent or good health.

The study also asks participants if they were fitter, fatter or about the same as the previous year. Twenty-seven percent said they were fatter than they were a year ago. An additional 43 percent said they were about the same.

Among all survey participants who said they were fitter than they were a year ago—including those who were underweight, those who were normal weight, and those who were overweight/obese—only one in 10 said that they weighed less than they did a year ago and exercised more than they did a year ago.

“Health advocates face a much deeper problem than merely persuading people of the benefits of losing weight,” said Dan Prince, president of the Catalyst Healthcare Research. “They must find ways to help people face the hard truth about themselves.”

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