Americans Adjust Ideal Weight as Pounds Increase


As Americans put on pounds, they tend to adjust their ideal weight, according to a Gallup study.

In 1990, Gallup started tracking the weight of Americans (as self-reported by individuals) and over the past 12 years, the weight of the average adult steadily has inched upwards. In the most recent poll, conducted in 2012, adults on average reported weighing 176 pounds. But most claimed 162 pounds as their ideal weight. Interestingly, while 65 percent of those polled recognized that they were heavier than their ideal weight, 54 percent wanted to lose weight, but only 25 percent were taking steps to shed excessive pounds.

Gallup believes that Americans are slowly adjusting their ideal weight as they increase in size. Approximately 60 percent surveyed were OK with their current weight level. But according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 36 percent of adult Americans are classified as obese, with an additional 33 percent identified as overweight. These individuals are at greater risk of serious medical concerns, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes and some cancers.

Learn more about the Gallup study in a story reported by ABC News, “’Ideal Weight’ Ballooning with American Waistlines.”