Study suggests fewer Americans try to lose weight; fat acceptance could be a reason

A new study has found that fewer Americans who are overweight are trying to drop the fats off in recent years. The result left researchers to consider fat acceptance as one of the reasons why.

The study has also found that the number of obesity cases rose. Dr Jian Zhang, a public health researcher at Georgia Southern University and lead author of the study, said socially accepted normal body weight is shifting towards the heavier weight. “As more people around us are getting heavier, we simply believe we are fine, and no need to do anything with it,” Zhang said.

As part of their study, the researchers analysed US government health surveys over almost two decades from 1988 through 2014. Data was acquired from in-person physical exams, as well as health-related questions like participants being asked if they have tried to lose weight within the past year.

Participants included 27,000 adults aged 20 to 59. The questions did not include why they tried or not tried to lose weight.

In previous polls, the number of overweight or obese Americans reportedly rose to 65 percent by 2014. The portion of adults who said they were trying to drop the extra pounds dropped from 55 percent to 49 percent in the study.

Furthermore, the recent findings have found that obesity was most common among black women. Based on recent polls, 55 percent of black women are obese yet many are not trying to lose weight. It is unclear whether this is due to dieting frustration or fat acceptance.

According to Zhang, if there is one positive thing about fat acceptance, it’s that overweight people feel less ridiculed for their weight. However, it should be noted that obesity increases the risks for heart disease, diabetes, cancer and other ailments. The findings “are a very serious concern,” he warned, adding that a healthy lifestyle may be an efficient way to help people lose weight and that the words fat and obesity should not be forgotten.

Dr Scott Kahan, director of a weight-loss clinic in Washington, said the recent findings are significant and supports earlier research. He revealed that for some circles, it had been more acceptable to be overweight though several patients remain stigmatised. Kahan went on to share that some visit his centre after multiple attempts to lose weight and some give up for a while when they feel frustrated. The study is published in Journal of the American Medical Association.

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