Obesity and Diet Top Americans’ Health Concerns

Obesity, weight, and diet are the top personal health concerns of Americans according to a national survey of 1,219 adults conducted by Hart Research Associates in June and released Friday by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers Association.Health Concerns

The study also identified obesity as one of the top three health research priorities for Americans. Overall as a health research priority, obesity was second only to finding cures for more types of cancer. Younger adults (18-34) and Hispanic respondents were significantly more likely than others to list obesity as a top research priority. Diabetes was more often a high priority for both African American and Hispanic respondents compared to other respondents. Heart disease was more often a top priority for African Americans.

Gallup has been tracking perceptions of the top health concerns facing the nation for some time now, which provides an interesting point of comparison to the present survey. In the work by Gallup, the question is more abstract and less personal. The chart below summarizes data on the diseases people mention. You can see that the perception of AIDS and cancer as major health problems for the country has faded, concern about obesity has grown. Health Problems

The fact that people are taking obesity more seriously as their own personal health concern is worth noting. Maybe the notion of obesity as a problem other people have — those people — is fading. We can hope.

Click here to read more in USA Today, click here to review the findings of the study by Hart Research, and click here to read more about Gallup’s findings.

Worry, photograph © B Rosen / flickr

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