This study used survey methodology to identify the self-reported behavioral patterns in Alabama that are associated with obesity. The participants were 400 randomly selected Alabama residents who were interviewed by telephone. The survey questionnaire had questions designed to measure self perceptions of body image, body mass index (BMI), and self-reported behavioral patterns. Based on the sample in this survey, a majority of survey respondents (58%) were overweight. Further, there is a significant difference between the number of people who were overweight and those who believe they were, with actual obesity exceeding self perceptions. The primary reason that most people (80%) gave for not dieting to lose weight was that it was too hard to count calories. Other factors which interfered with dieting to lose weight were a belief that diets don't work (66%), over-saturation of talk about dieting (62%), and the expense of eating a healthy diet (56%). © 2004 Individual Differences Research Group. All rights reserved.