Researcher Brenna Ellison of the University of Illinois and Jayson Lusa at Oklahoma State University, conducted an online survey administered by Clear Voice Research whose registry of panelists was representative of the U.S. population in terms of socioeconomic characteristics, gender and region.
The study involving 774 men and women found 94 percent of people said individuals are primarily or somewhat to blame for the rise in obesity.
Ninety-one percent said parents were primarily or somewhat to blame the United States being the most obese in the world. Survey respondents felt farmers and grocery stores were relatively blameless for the rise in obesity.
"Obesity is in the news every day so it would be hard to say that people are unaware of the policy initiatives in place to reduce U.S. obesity rates," Ellison said in a statement.
"Based on our study results, the more likely conclusion is that consumers' beliefs about who is to blame for obesity don't necessarily align with the beliefs of policymakers and public health advocates.
"In the United States, we're known for being an individualistic-based society, so it's not exceptionally surprising that we would put this responsibility for obesity on ourselves."
The findings were published in the journal Appetite.