Weight Control: A National Obsession

Archive Report

Dieting and Health

For most Americans, Thanksgiving is a time for celebration, a day to spend with family and friends. It is also an excuse to stuff ourselves with turkey, sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie and other traditional treats. Nothing is wrong, of course, with occasional holiday binging. But for many, overeating is a daily temptation.

The number of Americans who are overweight is largely a matter of conjecture, since experts disagree on how fat is too fat. One set of standards that has gained wide acceptance for correlating weight with height, sex and age was devised by Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. Using this guideline, 46 percent of adult Americans are at least 10 percent overweight. According to another source, 15 percent of adult men and 25 ...

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