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Americans focus on weight loss

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NEW YORK, Dec 30, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- Bankrate Inc. of New York said Thursday Americans are more focused on shrinking their waistlines than shrinking their debt.

According to a Bankrate poll, 36 percent of Americans are focused on weight loss as opposed to 31 percent who are concerned with eliminating debt.

This is a significant change from the 2003 poll in which 37 percent of those queried were more concerned about their debt and 29 percent were concentrating on losing weight.

This is the first time in the three years that Bankrate has conducted the survey that Americans have chosen weight loss over controlling debt as their New Year's resolution.

The survey revealed the average amount of debt Americans polled need to pay off is $11,288, which is slightly less than the 2004 survey result of $11,895. The poll did not include monthly mortgage payments or the high cost of homeowners insurance or local real estate taxes.

Men are more focused on money matters than women, coming in at 34.1 percent as opposed to 32.5 percent.

Participants were also asked how much weight they would like to lose in 2005. The average desired weight loss is approximately 23 pounds. Women rank higher in this category with the hope of losing 23.9 pounds. Men want to lose an average of 21.3 pounds.

Bankrate is an on-line banking group.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.

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