Americans aren’t growing taller, but their waistlines are growing wider. A new federal report reveals that U.S. men and women weigh about 15 lb. more than they did 20 years ago.
In the report, published Wednesday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics, researchers looked at data from 2011 to 2014. They found that the average man, who’s about 5 ft. 9 in., weighs 195.7 lb., and the average woman, almost 5 ft. 4 lb., weighs 168.5 lb. For men, that’s about 15 lb. more than average in 1988–94; women are now more than 16 lb. heavier. Men and women’s heights were about the same two decades ago.
Kids are similarly heavier today than they were in the past. On average, an 11-year-old boy weighs about 13 lb. more now than in 1988–94, and a girl of the same age weighs about 7 lb. more. Boys are about an inch taller on average, and girls this age are the same height.
The report didn’t give a reason for the increase in weight among modern Americans, but it’s clear that the U.S. is in an epidemic of obesity. More than two-thirds of adults are overweight or obese, and a June 2016 study reported that 40% of American women are now obese.
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