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Archive for April 6th, 2012

You’ve heard the statistics. More and more Americans march (or eat) toward the realm of overweight and obesity. Countless reasons cause excessive weight—overindulgence, too many fast-foods, gobs of fried, sugar-laden delights, and more. The Body Mass Index (BMI) scale serves as one guide to show us where we rank from underweight to obesity.

Do you believe you weigh too much, or do you think you’re about the right size? A Gallup poll, conducted annually, tracks how Americans classify their weight. In 2011, surveyors calculated the BMI of more than 1,000 people based on self-reported height and weight. Nearly sixty-two percent were either overweight or obese. However, most (sixty percent of men and more than half of the women) thought their weight was about right. For both men and women, actual body weight was about twenty pounds more than the BMI ideal. Additionally, perceived ideal body weight climbed to about ten pounds more than two decades past.

The average woman today weighs twenty-two pounds more than her ideal weight compared to thirteen pounds twenty years ago. In 1991, the average man weighed nine pounds more than his ideal body weight compared to fifteen pounds in 2011. The Gallup poll indicated that Americans are getting more overweight and don’t even recognize it.

Even those of us who register a normal weight on the BMI charts may actually be obese. The threshold of percent body weight for obesity is twenty-five for men and thirty for women. Records for BMI and body fat scores of more than 1,300 people found that nearly two-fifths had appropriate weight based on the BMI scale but were obese according to fat scores. The discrepancy may have resulted from the aging process, especially in women, and greater loss of muscle tissue due to lack of exercise.

Are you sure about your ideal weight? How does thinking and actual weight compare with twenty years ago? Perceptions tend to cloud reality as added flesh becomes more acceptable. And now, we can’t even rely on our scales. That should joggle our brains. The best indicator of healthy weight probably is body fat—and few know that percentage. Two things we do know and don’t want to confess. We may not be as small as we like to think.  And we’re reluctant to exercise to help keep those extra calories from turning into blubber.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/150947/Self-0Reported-Weight-Nearly-Pounds-1990.aspx

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-17585734?

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