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Average Weight of Americans Is 20 Pounds Heavier Than 20 Years Ago

Is Being Overweight More Acceptable Today?

The obesity rate may be steadily increasing over the years, but it seems that most Americans don't care. In fact, what we think of as our "ideal weight" has also increased over the past 20 years, reflecting a rising acceptance of being heavier.

A new Gallup poll of over 1,000 adults found that the average American weighs about 20 pounds more than the average American did 20 years ago. Back in 1990, according to the survey, the average American woman weighed 142; today, the average woman weighs 160 (the average weight for men in 1990 was 180 pounds, and today it's 196).

Not only has the average woman's weight increased, so has our perception of what our ideal weight should be, which has increased almost 10 pounds over 20 years, jumping from 129 pounds to 138 pounds. The same survey found that even though the average woman weighs 30 pounds more than the "ideal weight" of 1990, over half of men and women think their weight is "about right."

The increase in both average and ideal weight shows that being heavier has become the norm as the rate of Americans who are obese or overweight has increased (it's currently at 61 percent, according to government calculations based on BMI). Do you think that being overweight has become more acceptable now? Are you at your ideal weight? What is it? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

Image Source: Thinkstock
EmanHabib EmanHabib 5 years
well, why will I judge my weight according to others,obesity in Egypt is in very high rates,I was obese and became slight overweight, when I claim that I want to lower my weight more, others just tell me you are good and don't need more diet. and I believe I shouldn't stop getting better. every overweight person having troubles more than just being 2 or 4 pounds over the ideal weight, I will care for my health and body shape love myself, be healthier, automatically will be in shape..
Bettye-Wayne Bettye-Wayne 5 years
I guess I'm one of those judgmental people. A few extra pounds is one thing, but when I look at an obese person, I can't help but feel sorry for them and wonder how they let themselves get like that. When I hear an obese person say they love their body the way it is, I fundamentally don't understand how they could feel that way. I know someone will attack me for that, but it's true. Anyway... I'm 5'6 and 135 lbs, and I work out about 6 hrs a week between the gym and fitness classes. My perfect ideal rock-hard fitness weight is 125, but I carry that extra 10 lbs on purpose because I like the way my body looks with a little softness to it. So maybe there is some truth to this article.
LindseyTheBomb LindseyTheBomb 5 years
I don't understand where the whole "judgmental" thing fits in here. This article is about how people want to look and how they view THEMSELVES. I understand that some people may be judgmental, but this article has nothing to do with that. I don't look at someone who seems overweight and automatically think they're unhealthy. I know quite a few overweight people that eat healthy and I also know many people who are in a healthy weight range but eat junk food constantly. This article is purely based on the fact that what people think to be a healthy weight range has changed over the years. I do think that being overweight and following an unhealthy lifestyle has become more acceptable. Everyone is so pressed for time and money that sometimes it seems like the only option to skip workouts and eat fast food. I know it's more complicated to find out but I think knowing your fat percentage is much more important than knowing your weight. Many woman can have the same fat percentage but can be a completely different height and/or weight. I'm 5'4 and 110 lbs but I have an extremely small frame. If my bone structure were larger I would weigh more but my fat percentage would be the same. It all depends on your height and bone structure.
abamda abamda 5 years
I think being overweight has become much more acceptable. People will say that "it's great that such and such celebrity has accpeted her body". I think everyone should be happy within themselves but that doesn't mean we should say "good for you for being unhealthy"! As far as judgemental I've seen it both ways, I lost 40 pounds (over a year) thorough hard work and a healthy lifestyle change. People will say "oh you must starve yourself, oh you're too thin"....but I'm not, I'm right where I was naturally before having two kids and turrning 40. I didn't starve myself and I'm now MUCH healthier than I was 40 pounds heavier. Yes everyone is built different and not everyone is going to weight 125...but that doesn't mean they should accept being unhealthy. Who cares how much you weigh or what you look like but everyone should care about being healthy. AND don't hate on someone who has made the choice to be active and healthy just b/c you don't make that same choice!
DyaniRae DyaniRae 5 years
Are you kidding? I'm sick of hearing about the "obesity epidemic". Amber nailed it; people are getting ridiculously judgmental. I don't understand why people can't just mind their own body.
amber512 amber512 5 years
To me, it seems like while more people are becoming overweight, there are just as many people who are judgmental towards them. Many of the judgmental people are overweight themselves.
Gabriela-Une-Vie-Saine Gabriela-Une-Vie-Saine 5 years
I definitely think being overweight is more acceptable today, but what's ironic is that the gap between what the "ideal" body is- super thin, underweight even- and the average body is- too heavy- is larger than ever before. I think both perceptions need to change!
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