Holiday Weight Gain: Americans Comfortable With More Pounds

Dr. Jennifer Ashton looks at new trend people accepting higher ideal weights.
2:36 | 11/24/12

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Transcript for Holiday Weight Gain: Americans Comfortable With More Pounds
For many of us, the holidays are not only an excuse to shop, but also to eat a lot. I'm still full from my second thanksgiving dinner, which I had last night. There's a new study that says we're not just adding pounds. We're also changing the way we think about our weight. Our concept of the ideal weight has ballooned since 1990, rising by more than ten pounds for both men and women. And still, only one in six americans say they're at their ideal weight. Here to make sense of all of this is abc news senior medical contributor, dr. Jennifer ashton. Good morning, you guys. Not only are americans gaining weight. But their concept of the ideal weight is going up, as well. How alarming is that to you, as a doctor. Good and bad to this, like any story. First of all, this is a gallup poll. So, a telephone survey. We have greater acceptance. Maybe a lower stigma associated with being overweight or fat because there are more people who are overweight in this country. On the bad side, it is no secret, we know there are clear medical risks that accompany being overweight that range from an increase in certain types of cancers to an increase in the risk of diabetes and heart disease. And more people will be facing these risks. What do we do during the holidays. We're trying to be conscious of our weight and trying to be healthy. But there's plates of cookies everywhere. What's your tips for navigating the land minds. I think you're going to like this. Don't worry about the holiday parties. Worry what you do the other days of the year. We have to be realistic here. It would be ideal if no one had a problem with their body weight. But the reality is very different. Most of us. So, when you're talking about that one holiday or one or two holiday parties, basic tips. Use your common sense. But enjoy yourself. You want to watch your portions. You want to watch the calories you consume in quiliquid form. And take a long walk before and after to burn some calories. I was worried. I thought you were going to advise me to put out a plate of carrots at thanksgiving. Enjoy it. Worry about the rest of the year. And for children this time of year. We know that the childhood obesity rate continues to increase, as well. What are tips for families, not only for the adults, but for kids in the home. When you're talking about children, we have children, it's important to start educating them from a very early age. The health is about what's on the inside. You can be slightly overweight and be very healthy. And make no mistake about it, you can be thin and be very unhealthy. You want to start teaching children from a very young age that it really is about inner health, not that number. Good tips. Thank you. I'm going to go for a quick

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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