No more than one time in 20 should chance variations in the sample cause the results to vary by more than 3 percentage points from the answers that would be obtained if all Americans were polled.
This margin of sampling error is slightly larger for responses of subgroups, such as registered voters.
There are other sources of potential error in polls, including the wording and order of questions.
1. I'm going to read a list of health risks facing adults in the United States. Please tell me which you think pose the greatest health risk to Americans today. The categories are ...
_Smoking, 18 percent
_Unhealthy eating habits, 30 percent
_Lack of physical activity, 19 percent
_Alcohol abuse, 5 percent
_Drug use, 16 percent
_Unsafe sexual behaviors, 10 percent
_Other, 1 percent
_Not sure, 1 percent
2. And how important a health problem is being overweight or obese for you and your family? Is it a ...
_Major problem, 14 percent
_Minor problem, 42 percent
_No problem at all, 44 percent
3. In your opinion, who is most responsible for Americans being overweight and obese?
_The individuals themselves, 77 percent
_The government, 1 percent
_Spouses, parents and other family members, 9 percent
_Fast-food restaurants, 8 percent
_Sit-down restaurants, 1 percent
_Food and snack manufacturers, 3 percent
_Beverage manufacturers, 0 percent
_Other, 1 percent
4a. Would you say that right now, you are ...
_Underweight, 5 percent
_Slightly underweight, 4 percent
_Somewhat underweight, 1 percent
_A healthy weight, 59 percent
_Overweight, 36 percent
_Slightly overweight 19 percent
_Somewhat overweight, 11 percent
_Very overweight, 6 percent
5a. Have you ever been on a diet to lose weight, or not?
_Yes, 52 percent
_No, 48 percent
6. At any time in the past year, have you actively tried to improve your physical fitness by following a regular program of physical exercise, or not?
_Yes, 66 percent
_No, 34 percent
7. Are you currently making an attempt to restrict the amount of fat in your diet, or are you not doing that?
_Yes, restricting the amount of fat, 56 percent
_No, not doing that, 44 percent
8. Are you currently making an attempt to restrict the amount of carbohydrates in your diet or are you not doing that?
_Yes, restricting the amount of carbohydrates, 33 percent
_No, not doing that, 67 percent
9. Are you currently making an attempt to restrict the total amount of calories you consumer per day, or are you not doing that?
_Yes, restricting calories, 38 percent
_No, not doing that, 62 percent
(ASKED OF THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN ON A DIET IN THE PAST)
10. Thinking about the most recent time you have dieted, how much weight, if any, did you gain back after you stopped your diet? Would you say you gained back ...
_All of it, 23 percent
_Most of it, 13 percent
_Only some of it, 41 percent
_Did not gain back any of the weight lost, 20 percent
_Didn't lose any weight by dieting, 1 percent
_Not sure, 2 percent