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Overweight men and women differ dramatically, not only in how they see themselves, but also how they deal with the extra pounds. The gender divide is apparent in differing attitudes toward food. Overweight or obese women are far more likely than the average American to strongly agree that they feel guilty when they eat. Their overweight male peers are less likely than average to feel the same way.

Simmons Market Research Bureau, which polled 9,882 adults between January and May 2003, was able to capture statistics on standard demographics, as well as height and weight. Researchers then converted the information into standard body mass index categories. The data makes it possible to look at consumer behaviors and attitudes through a body-type filter.

Overweight women are more likely than men to diet in an effort to shed pounds. According to Simmons, 24 percent of the people who say they strongly agree that they'll try any new diet are obese females, while less than have that — only 9 percent — are obese men.

And if dieting doesn't do the trick, at least watching what one eats might help. Obese women are more likely to strongly agree that they work at eating a well-balanced diet: 1 in 4 claims to do so. Only 1 in 8 obese males agrees.

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