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A Healthier You

An increasing number of Americans weigh 200 pounds and say they are OK with it


(Newsweek) – More Americans weighed over 200 pounds in the 2010s than in the previous decade—and more than ever are content with being heavier, according to data released Wednesday by Gallup.

The data came from Gallup’s Health and Healthcare survey, which the organization said was conducted in November of each year. The survey responses for 2019 were collected between November 1 and November 14 from a random selection of 1,015 adults living in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.

Most people in the United States are overweight or obese, according to data from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. In 2013 and 2014, about 70 percent of Americans had body mass indices above 25, which is considered the threshold of a “healthy” weight. BMI is a measure of body fat based on height and weight.

Analysis of Gallup’s survey responses from Americans in the closing 2010s revealed that more reported weighing over 200 pounds than in the decade that began in 2001. While, in the previous decade, only 12 percent of women said they weighed over 200 pounds, that increased to 14 percent between 2010 and 2019. The uptick in higher reported weights was slightly steeper among men; 38 percent between 2001 and 2009 said they were over 200 pounds, while 42 percent said they were at least that heavy in the current decade.

Eliminating gender as a variable and considering national averages, just under a quarter (24 percent) of Americans said they weighed over 200 pounds in the previous decade, while 28 percent in 2010 to 2019 said so. Furthermore, the average self-reported weight of Americans has also risen slightly—from 174 pounds in the previous decade to 178 in the present one.

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