The poll found that about one-third of men say they are at or below their ideal weight, and about one-quarter of women say they are at or below their ideal weight. The idea that most Americans (and especially women) are in a constant struggle to lose weight is a myth: Only one-quarter of respondents say they are seriously trying to lose weight, which as Gallup notes "is much lower than the percentage who are above their ideal weight or say they would like to lose weight."
Why aren't more people trying to lose weight? The answer is simple: because - despite two-thirds of Americans being overweight or obese - "The majority of Americans say their weight is ‘about right,' as they have typically responded over the past 20 years. But the 60 percent who describe themselves as ‘about right' is the highest Gallup has ever found." The Gallup report referred to this paradox as "weight denial." Most of us know we should lose some weight (and we would like to do it if it's quick and easy), but at the end of the day we figure we're fine as we are.
It's important to note that the subjects' weight in this study were self-reported, and not verified by a doctor or scale. This may be a problem because people often lie about their weight, or simply don't know it. According to a 2010 research study, nearly 40 percent of overweight women believe themselves to be thinner than they really are. That study also found that, contrary to most women thinking they are too fat, only 16 percent of normal-weight women in the study perceived themselves as overweight.
The simple fact is that most Americans are fat and happy: not really trying to lose weight, and not really worried about not trying to lose weight.