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Many Americans admit to being pudgy, but few are doing what it takes to slim down, according to a recent Gallup poll.

Forty-two percent of Americans said they were overweight, while 51 percent said their weight was “about right.”

These numbers have remained about the same for the past decade.

“In recent years, medical authorities have increasingly documented the relationship between people’s weight and their overall physical health, pointing to evidence that obesity is correlated with increased chances of heart trouble, cancer, and diabetes,” according to Gallup. “The recent survey documents this relationship, based on Americans’ description of their health on the one hand and their description of their weight on the other.”

Gallup reported that by a 21 percent to 45 percent margin, Americans who were overweight were about half as likely as others to describe their health as “excellent.”

Whether they classify themselves as “overweight” or not, six in 10 Americans said they are not their “ideal” weight. Sixty-three percent of Americans said they weighed more than their ideal weight by an average of 16 pounds.

“Women are slightly more likely than men to report their actual weight as higher than their ideal weight,” Gallup reported. “The average man in America weighs about 12 pounds more than he thinks he should, while the average woman weighs 19 pounds more than she thinks she should.”

The Gallup poll also revealed that although Americans want to shed their extra weight, few are actually trying to do so. The gap between the desire to be thinner and the willpower to do it is great.

Only 24 percent of Americans said they were “seriously trying to lose weight right now.”

Jodi Mathews is BCE’s communications director.

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