WASHINGTON, DC -- Most overweight Americans say that they are not overweight, according to a new Pew Research Center telephone survey. While statistics show that more than 60 percent of Americans are overweight, only 40 percent of the 2,000 adults surveyed said that they were too fat. However, 90 percent knew that a growing number of Americans are overweight.
The survey found that most people tend to overestimate their height and underestimate their weight. The median weight reported by the women surveyed was 150 pounds while their median self-reported height was 5 feet 5 inches tall. However, government statistics show that the median weight of an American woman is 155 pounds and the median height is 5 feet 4 inches.
Those surveyed said that the majority of overweight people are overweight due to lack of exercise and lack of willpower rather than because of a genetic disposition or food company advertising.
A quarter of those surveyed currently were dieting and 52 percent had dieted at some point in their lives.
The full report can be read at pewresearch.org/assets/social/pdf/Obesity.pdf.