As the obesity crisis rages on throughout the country, more are turning to diet or exercise to shed the pounds.
A new Gallup Health poll found more Americans are turning to diet or exercise to lose weight. The telephone survey conducted the first week of November showed 31 percent of people in the poll said they lost weight by exercising, 23 percent-attributed weight lose to eating less or dieting. Only eight percent said they used a combination of diet and exercise to lose weight.
Of those polled only 52 percent said they have succeeded in losing weight at one point in their life.
Five percent attributed weight lose to Weight Watchers; about 4 percent said they lost weight doing the Atkins diet or similar low-carbohydrate diets. A small percentage cited diet pills – 4 percent – and gastric bypass surgery – 1 percent.
Though a majority of Americans are trying to drop the weight, the general perception of ideal weight and average weight has changed over the years. Another Gallup poll, published earlier this month, found Americans are weighing in 20 pounds heavier than they did two decades ago. The average weight went up to 196 pounds for men and 160 pounds for women.
As the actual weight has increase so has the ideal weight. Men included in the poll said their ideal weight was 180 pounds on average, up from 177 pounds 20 years ago. For women, it is now 138 pounds, up from 137 pounds.
The average man weighs 15 pounds more than his ideal weight compared to nine pounds in 1990. The average woman weighs 22 pounds more than her ideal weight, compared to 13 pounds 20 years ago.