Ideal Weight: Americans Want To Weigh 162 Pounds, On Average, Report Finds

Our 'Ideal Weight' Is Growing

As our waistlines have grown over the years, so has our concept of the "ideal weight," according to a new report. Americans now strive to weigh, on average, 162 pounds.

U.S. men's "ideal weight" is 14 pounds heavier and women's "ideal weight" is 11 pounds heavier than they were 20 years ago, the Gallup report showed.

Specifically, men today say that their "ideal weight" is 185 pounds. They weigh, on average, 196 pounds.

Meanwhile, women today say that their "ideal weight" is 140 pounds. They weigh, on average, 156 pounds, according to the report.

"Americans appear to be slowly shifting to higher weights, adjusting their expectations of what is ideal over time -- mirroring the increase in actual weight," researchers wrote in the study.

The findings are based on telephone interviews of 1,015 adults between Nov. 15 and 18 of last year.

More than half of Americans -- 65 percent -- exceeded their ideal weight, compared with 13 percent of people who were less than their ideal weight and 16 percent who were the same their ideal weight, the researchers found.

And 54 percent of those surveyed said that they wanted to lose weight -- but 25 percent said that they were seriously taking action to shed pounds, according to the report.

Of course, it's important to note that the survey only determined people's weights in regard to their ideal weight -- not their healthy weight, which differs from person to person. One possible way to calculate your healthy weight is to know your body mass index (BMI), which is a ratio of height to weight. A BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 is considered healthy, while a BMI between 25 and 29.9 is considered "overweight" and a BMI of 30 or more is considered "obese," according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Another way to determine if you're at a healthy weight is to measure your waist circumference -- one that is 40 inches or more for men may lead to health risks from obesity, while a waist circumference that is 35 inches or more for women could put them at risk, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported.

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