Besides our erratic weather and president, few things get talked about this time of year more than body weight. Not mine. Yours.
All the good intentions and dutiful miles of autumn jogging went into the dumpster with last weekend’s consumption of adult beverages and the previous holiday weekend’s meats, potatoes, beans, stuffing, gravy, and the pecan pie of Grandma Jennie, who’d have been crushed if you didn’t thoughtfully take seconds. At least.
More than two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese, according to experts at the obesely-titled National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
So, the folks over at Gallup, the ones who aren’t on vacation or quarantined, have done another survey. And – oh, look! – more than half of Americans self-report that their weight is just about right for their age and build. In other words, the overweight national institute is wrong.
Over the past five years on average only 41 percent of Americans self-report themselves as overweight. Uh-huh.
That means that somewhere on the order of a quarter of Americans are following the newly-fashionable Joe Biden model of truth-telling. They’re not.
We don’t need any phony partisan media fact-checkers to call out those liars. Health statistics will do it for them.
The population with diabetes is coming up on 40 million, about 11 percent of us, with another 1.5 million joining every year. Officially, diabetes is the seventh-highest cause of death, but that’s likely grossly under-reported in favor of heart disease and stroke, which diabetes prompts.
Heart disease, another outgrowth of carrying too much weight, is the leading cause of death on the planet and in the U.S., almost 18 million lives a year globally and one-in-four of the nation’s nearly three million deaths annually.
So, you may fool Gallup with your overly-rosy overweight reporting, but not your own body.
Perhaps some Americans are savvying up. The latest rosy 41percent self-reported overweight number is up from the 36 percent average in the previous five-year span, according to Gallup numbers.
After maintaining relatively stable overall weights for the century’s first 15 years, Americans are reporting gained weight in recent years, up an average of five pounds per person.
Men are on average four pounds beefier now at a 199-pound average, while women are six pounds porkier at 163. All the other genders were not reported.
The proportion of Americans expressing a desire to slim some has jumped around a bit this century.
About 55 percent of all adults say they’d like to shed some pounds in the most recent five-year span. That’s up slightly from the 52 percent in the previous five years, but still under the 60 percent who professed that wish right after 2000.
Who says they want to lose weight the most?
OK, that was a gimme. Women, of course. Six of ten. Less than half of men say the same. Those numbers remain steady so far this millennium.
Now, we get to crunch time when hypocrisy hits the highway. While more than half of Americans say they would like to lose weight, barely half of them (26 percent) claim to actually be doing something about it.
And once again, women exceed men, saying they are actually doing something to lose weight – 29 percent vs lazier men at 23 percent. Us guys will get right down to the weight-loss thingie for sure immediately after football’s over.
Or certainly by spring anyway. Plenty of time til Speedo season.