Obesity: Strong Public Opinion, But Little Appetite for Change

American public opinion is clear that obesity is a health problem that needs to be addressed, but opinions on obesity solutions are mixed. In a recent poll of 1,000 adults fielded by Associated Press/NORC for Public Affairs Research, 75% of people say having excess weight and obesity is an extremely or very serious problem. Excess weight and obesity ranked second only to cancer, which 80% said was extremely or very serious.

And the top three things mentioned as major causes are people spending too much time in front of TV, video games, and computer screens (mentioned by 97%); fast food is inexpensive and easy to find (92%); and people don’t want to change (91%). Although fast food is implicated by 92% of those surveyed, only 31% want to put a tax on unhealthy foods and only 15% want restrictions on the type or size of food you can buy. When asked if fighting obesity was the responsibility of an individual or the responsibility of the whole community including schools, government, healthcare providers, and the food industry, 52% said the individual and 34% the whole community. And while 33% said the government should be extremely or very involved in finding solutions to obesity, an additional 36% said the government should be only slightly involved or not at all.

Click here to read more in the Huffington Post and here to read the poll results.

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