Are Americans Becoming More Honest About Their Weight?

7 years ago

Are you honest about your weight?  Although I would prefer not to be asked, when I am asked, it never occurs to me to lie about it.

It used to be that women were thought to always lie about their age and weight, but a new CDC study finds that Americans are becoming more honest (at least about) their weight.  To be honest, I didn't even know that there were studies measuring the number of people who lie about their weight.  It seems a little odd, but who am I to judge?

The new report also found that in nine states at least 30 percent of the adults were obese in 2009. The states were Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Missouri, Oklahoma, West Virginia and Mississippi, the highest at 34 percent. In 2007, only Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee topped 30 percent.

No states met a national goal for 2010 of limiting obesity to 15 percent. Only Colorado and the District of Columbia were lower than 20 percent, and just barely.

It did get me thinking a bit about why?  Why are Americans becoming more honest about their weight, especially considering that obesity is on the rise?

Could it be that we are finally getting to the point of loving and accepting ourselves, even with our perceived imperfections?  That wouldn't be so bad, maybe those Dove ads (you know, the ones using average and plus size models) are having an impact on how we see ourselves.  Whatever the reason, if women are feeling better about themselves, I think that's wonderful.  Anyway, that's my idealistic way of looking at this story, and I think it could be true.

However, it seems the researchers have their own opinion (go figure), and it does make sense.  They believe that because of all the press coverage over the ever-growing obesity epidemic (and the health problems associated with it), that Americans are becoming more aware of their weight and therefore more honest.  The benefit to this observation would be that Americans are becoming concerned about the health risks of being overweight (rather than the stigma), and are keeping a closer eye on it.  In the long run (idealistically), this change in behavior may actually prove to be the catalyst to American's changing their eating habits from unhealthy to healthy, and that would be a good thing.  Wouldn't it be great to go from a society facing an obesity epidemic, to a society facing a healthy living epidemic?

Woman measuring waistline

In a related story, another study finds belly bulge contributes to four serious medical conditions that can ultimately lead to death.

It seems women should have a waist circumference no greater than 33- 35 inches, otherwise they are at a increased risk for heart disease, asthma, breast cancer as well as dementia.

"Even if you haven't had a noticeable weight gain, if you notice your waist size increasing that's an important sign," said lead author Eric Jacobs of the American Cancer Society, which funded the study. "It's time to eat better and start exercising more."

Bulging bellies are a problem for most Americans older than 50. It's estimated that more than half of older men and more than 70 percent of older women have bigger waistlines than recommended. And it's a growing problem: Average waistlines have expanded by about an inch per decade since the 1960s.

Although I'm not past the recommended girth, I have noticed an evolution of how my body is distributing its weight.  I wrote about how I've been carrying my weight differently since I hit 40, and the difficult time I've been having trying to lose the last 10 pounds.

I can’t help but think that my age has something to do with my inability to get rid of those last ten pounds. At 42, I’ve been observing some strange happenings to my body. Oddly, my weight has stayed relatively the same, but how the weight is distributed on my body has been changing dramatically (I seem to be plumping up around my waist and belly, while at the same time shrinking in areas I would prefer to keep).

In this video Dr. Oz talks about how a high belly fat measurement can take up to 15 years off your life, and shows you how to measure it for yourself...

What do you think?  Are you honest about your weight?  Are you concerned about gaining weight in your belly region?  Do you have any ideas about why people are becoming more honest about their weight?  I would love to know your thoughts in comments.

Also See:

Contributing Editor Catherine Morgan
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