Americans' concerns about obesity soar, surpass smoking

More say obesity is "extremely serious" now than in the past

by Elizabeth Mendes

GALLOP Wellbeing

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Most Americans say obesity is an "extremely" or "very serious" problem to society, the 81% who do so is up significantly from 69% in 2005, the last time Gallup asked this question. Americans now see obesity as a more serious societal issue than cigarettes -- a change from the past.

Gallup has asked Americans how serious a problem obesity, cigarettes, and alcohol are to society three times since 2003. The combined percentage rating obesity as extremely or very serious has increased with each survey. While Americans became more concerned about all three issues in 2005, their concerns about cigarettes has since stayed the same and those about alcohol declined slightly.