If you’re like many Americans, you’ve spent considerable time worrying about your height or weight. You’re hardly alone and, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you have good reason to be concerned. A new report finds Americans are getting larger, but more of us are growing wider instead of taller.
A national health statistics report released by the CDC shows over the last two decades, the average weight, waist circumference and body mass index of both sexes saw consistent increases.
Today, the average weight of an American man is about 200 pounds; for women, it is about 170 pounds. This is up from the late 1990s, when the average numbers were around 190 pounds for men and 165 for women.
CDC researchers say these figures align with the obesity trends in the country; both men and women’s current average BMIs are approaching critical levels.
Meanwhile, the average height has slightly decreased by less than an inch for both sexes. The CDC says this may be because of America’s changing demographics, with more people in the United States having shorter stature than in previous generations.
Overall, the national health report shows there remains a great need to address America’s increasing rate of obesity and related health risks like Type 2 diabetes and heart diseases. This issue is by no means an unfamiliar topic in the United States. In fact, in 2008, the medical care cost for obesity was at an estimated $147 billion.
The report is just the latest evidence that despite our efforts at controlling our weight and getting more exercise, more Americans continue to fight the battle of the bulge.