Poll: Americans split on government role on fat (Update)
A new poll finds that Americans blame too much cheap fast food for fueling the nation's fat epidemic, but they're split on how much the government should do to save them from themselves.
Most draw the line at policies that would try to force healthier eating by limiting food choices, according to the poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.
A third of people say the government should be deeply involved in finding ways to curb obesity, while a similar proportion want it to play little or no role. The rest are somewhere in the middle.
A third of U.S. children and teens, and two-thirds of adults, are either overweight or obese.
While three-quarters of Americans consider obesity a serious health problem, most of those surveyed said dealing with it is up to individuals.
That highlights the dilemma facing public health experts. Societal changes over recent decades have helped spur growing waistlines. Regular-sized food portions are larger, and a fast-food meal can be cheaper than healthier food.
In the current environment, it's difficult to exercise that personal responsibility, said Jeff Levi of the nonprofit Trust for America's Health.
"We need to create environments where the healthy choice becomes the easy choice, where it's possible for people to bear that responsibility," he said.
Require more physical activity in school? Provide nutritional guidelines to help people make better choices? Yes, 8 in 10 people surveyed support those steps. Make restaurants post calorie counts on their menus, as the Food and Drug Administration is poised to do? Some 70 percent think it's a good idea.
But nearly 6 in 10 people oppose taxes targeting unhealthy foods, known as soda taxes or fat taxes.
And when it comes to restricting what people can buy—like New York City's recent ban of supersized sodas in restaurants—three-quarters oppose it.
"The outlawing of sugary drinks, that's just silly," said Keith Donner, 52, of Miami, who prefers teaching schoolchildren to eat better and exercise.
More than half of women say the high cost of healthy food is a major driver of obesity, compared with just 37 percent of men. Women also are more likely to say that the food industry should bear a lot of responsibility for helping to find solutions.
Physical activity is an important factor too. About 7 in 10 people said it was easy to find sidewalks or paths for jogging, walking or bike-riding. But 63 percent found it difficult to run errands or get around without a car.
The AP-NORC Center survey was conducted Nov. 21 through Dec. 14. It involved landline and cellphone interviews with 1,011 adults nationwide and has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 4.2 percentage points.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
- Report: Schools key to fighting America's obesity May 08, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- An issue we can agree on: Parents support policies limiting unhealthy food marketing to children, survey finds Oct 30, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Government can play important role in obesity epidemic Sep 18, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Food habits of the poor unchanged by NY calories law: study Oct 06, 2009 | not rated yet | 0
- Will calorie listings curb our fast-food habits? Feb 11, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Calculating on-axis elements of a solenoid
11 hours ago I wanted to mention that this solenoid has many winds over many layers. The thickness of the windings is 2.4 inches coming off of the engineering...
latitude & longitude & air pressure
12 hours ago Hi there, I have a peculiar question. Imagine that you are in a earth position, obtained by google, that gives you the latitude and longitude....
Differences of Classical Mechanics when learned with Calc vs algebra?
16 hours ago what are the differences? Every example I find usually has a derivative or integral or some kind of calculus defined concept that seems to make it...
what is the distance traveled
20 hours ago A rough sketch of experiment. Image: http://i43.tinypic.com/14t4sk5.png the red dots represent a side view of path traveled, F is downward force...
Image of a Convex Lens Cut in Half Horizontally
23 hours ago Hello everyone, A friend of mine came up with this question in class and I really do not have a good answer. Suppose you have a convex lens...
Ray tracing through optical system of thick lenses
May 22, 2013 Can you advise me a free software that allow to draw rays passed throught system of thick lenses (preferable in 3D)?
- More from Physics Forums - Classical Physics
More news stories
Children living in households where the parents are married are less likely to be obese, according to new research from Rice University and the University of Houston.
Overweight and Obesity 18 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
In the long run, encouraging a baby to finish the last ounce in their bottle might be doing more harm than good.
Overweight and Obesity 18 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
Research presented today shows that high-fructose corn syrup can cause behavioural reactions in rats similar to those produced by drugs of abuse such as cocaine. These results, presented by addiction expert Francesco Leri, ...
Overweight and Obesity 22 hours ago | 4 / 5 (1) | 0
As many as 35 percent of Mexican young adults may have a genetic predisposition for obesity, said a University of Illinois scientist who conducted a study at the Universidad Autónoma de San Luis Potosί.
Overweight and Obesity May 21, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
Overweight and obese patients are significantly more likely than their normal-weight counterparts to repeatedly switch primary care doctors, a practice that disrupts continuity of care and leads to more emergency room visits, ...
Overweight and Obesity May 21, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
(Medical Xpress)—Researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine have identified a promising target for treating glioblastoma, one that appears to avoid many of the obstacles that typically frustrate efforts ...
53 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0 |
(Medical Xpress)—The first symptoms of major depression may be behavioral, but the common mental illness is based in biology—and not limited to the brain.
47 minutes ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0 |
(Medical Xpress)—Scientists at Emory Vaccine Center have shown that an immune regulatory molecule called IL-21 is needed for long-lasting antibody responses in mice against viral infections.
41 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0 |
Human breastmilk responds quickly to protect the child when there is an infection in mothers or babies, according to new international research led by The University of Western Australia.
53 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
(Medical Xpress)—According to the World Health Organization, approximately 70 million couples experience infertility worldwide. Current data suggests that nearly one third of infertility disorders are due ...
8 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
More than half of patients diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL) are now surviving the disease thanks to improved diagnosis and treatment, according to a new report1 from Cancer Research UK.
28 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0