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Americans' Weight — and Ideal Weight — Has Increased


We all know that America's collective waistline has expanded and keeps expanding. However, a new survey shows that not only do we weigh more than we used to, but also the number that we want to weigh — our ideal weight — has increased, too.

According to the results of a November 2011 Gallup poll of 1,012 adults across the country, the average male weighs 196 pounds, and the average female weighs 160 pounds. These numbers are nearly 20 pounds more than they were in 1990. As weight has increased, so has American's ideal weight. Men, on average, wish they weighed 181 pounds, and women say 138 pounds is their ideal weight. 

When comparing the numbers of actual and ideal weights, Gallup found that today the average man weighs 15 pounds more than his ideal, compared with 9 pounds in 1990. The average woman weighs 22 pounds more than her ideal today, compared with 13 pounds in 1990. So as American's ideal weights have increased, so have the numbers on the scale. A reported 64 percent of men and 68 percent of women are currently over their ideal weight, according to Gallup.
Despite all this, the majority of Americans say that their weight is "about right," just as they have done most of the last 20 years that the poll has been conducted. In reality, the survey shows that one in four Americans are between 1 and 10 pounds over their ideal weight.
So while Americans are getting heavier, many may not even recognize it or acknowledge it. Has your ideal weight changed over the years?


Jennipher Walters is the CEO and co-founder of the healthy living websites and A certified personal trainer, lifestyle and weight management coach and group exercise instructor, she also holds an MA in health journalism and regularly writes about all things fitness and wellness for various online publications.


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