Social Trends: In the Battle of the Bulge, More Soldiers Than Successes

Source Organization: Pew Research Center


04/26/2006 - At a time when the nation's waistline has expanded to record girth, about two-thirds (65%) of American adults are either dieting, exercising or doing both. But by their own reckoning, they don't have much to show for their efforts.

A quarter of all adults are currently on a diet, but, on average, the dieters are 29 pounds heavier than they would like to be. Those adults who are not dieting, by contrast, are 12 pounds heavier than they would like to be.

Nearly six-in-ten (57%) adults report that they do some kind of exercise program to keep fit. But among these regular exercisers, about two-thirds (65%) report that they aren't getting as much exercise as they should. And even though exercisers are closer to their ideal weight than are the dieters, they're still not hitting the mark. Exercisers, on average, would like to be 14 pounds lighter than they are.

These findings are from a new Pew Research Center nationwide survey which also finds that Americans consider lack of exercise and lack of will power about eating to be the two most important reasons that many Americans are very overweight.

Read the full report In the Battle of the Bulge, More Soldiers Than Successes on the Pew Research Center Web site.

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