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Survey: 72 percent of overweight people have never been told by doctor to lose the pounds

Posted On Wed, February 23, 2011

Despite two-thirds of Americans being overweight or obese, a new poll indicates that many of these same people have never been told by their doctors to lose weight.

Using the World Health Organization's classifications for differentiating between those who were overweight, obese and morbidly obese, the Harris Interactive survey determined how often people were told to lose weight based on their girth. The company found that 19 percent of people considered morbidly obese said they had never been told by their doctor to lose weight, along with 46 percent of obese people and 72 percent of overweight people.

The survey also found that more women than men made a New Year's resolution to lose weight - 47 percent to 44 percent, respectively - and that 64 percent of morbidly obese people have suffered health problems because of their size.

The online poll was conducted between January 17 and 24, surveying 2,566 adults.

With obesity among the leading causes of preventable death in the U.S, many health insurance companies offer discounts to weight loss programs. In fact, some insurers may cover the cost of weight loss procedures like bariatric and laparoscopic surgery.

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