A not-so-surprising report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirms that Americans continue to pack on the pounds.
Scientists working with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics have demonstrated no reversal in the rising obesity rate among American adults. According to a report from TIME, the study found that American men and women weigh an average of 15 lb. more than they did 20 years ago – and some say that poses a huge problem.
The report outlines the continuing trend of widening waistlines and weight gain among American adults, covering data collected from 2011 to 2014. Researchers found that the average American man, who stands 5 ft. 9 in., weighs roughly 195.7 lb. The average American woman, standing nearly 5 ft. 4 in., weighs 168.5 lb.
This translates to a body mass index of roughly 28.9 for the average American man, and 29.0 for the average American woman. Scientists consider a BMI of 30 or greater to signify obesity, while a BMI of 25 to 29.9 is considered “overweight.”
These averages are up over their levels two decades ago; men are about 15 lb. heavier than they were between 1988 and 1994, and women are now more than 16 lb. heavier. In just two decades, the average size of American adults has risen dramatically.
The increase in average weight wasn’t restricted to adults, however; the report found that kids are gaining weight as well. The study showed that the average 11-year-old boy weighs roughly 13 lb. more than he did between 1988 and 1994, and the average girl weighs roughly seven lb. more. Boys clocked slight increase in average height, but girls had not.
The report didn’t reveal the reasons behind the dramatic uptick in average weights, but there are several factors that could contribute. People may be getting less physical activity than in the past, and an abundance of processed foods marketed as natural and healthy certainly has an impact. With more than two-thirds of American adults considered overweight or obese, this represents a serious public health problem that needs to be addressed.
The report can be found here.