Americans have continued to grow bigger, but not taller by the turn of the millennium, they have found a new relationship of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. According to the report, the average weight and waistline of adult adults have both expanded over the past 18 years, while the average height of adults has remained flat if not decreased a little.
The report is based on data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), a poll conducted regularly and an interview on the diet and lifestyle habits of Americans. As part of the NHANES, a nationally selected and representative group of volunteers undergoes physical examinations. The authors examined data from the 90 to 2000 version of NHANES and compared it with data from the 2015-2016 version, which counted more than 40,000 people in total. They calculated the average weight of adult men and women, taking into account factors such as age.
From 1999 to 2000, the weight of the average adult man was 189.4 pounds, but from 2015 to 2016, that average weight had inflated to 197.9 pounds. The average adult woman was 163.8 pounds from 1999 to 2000, but 170.6 pounds from 2015 to 2016. Both men and women have seen their lives increase by over one inch since 1999, with men now having an average waistline of 40.2 inches and women who have a 38.6-inch waistline.
Meanwhile, the average man was 69.2 inches tall from 1999 to 2000, but 69.1 inches from 2015 to 2016. And the average woman was 63.8 inches tall from 1999-2000 and 63.7 inches from 2015 to 2016.
The new report is the successor to a CDC report released in 2004. This report, which reviewed trends dating back to the 1960s, found that American adults, men and women had gained on average 24 pounds and gained an extra inch between 1960 and 2002.
The current weight gain is not as dramatic as it was then. But the results are a signal that reported recent increases in body mass index, or BMI, is capturing an important trend. Some experts and activists have criticized the IMC, which is based on our weight and height, as an imperfect metric to understand when someone's size might be at an unhealthy level, and they pushed for other measurements, such as the circumstances of life, to use in place.
One of the arguments to let go of IMC is that dramatic height differences, such as being very high or short, can distort measurement, classifying some obese people who might otherwise be healthy, while others may have a normal BMI and however be unhealthy. But if Americans on the whole are becoming heavier and remain at the same height and if these statistics are reflected in recent IMC trends, this suggests that IMC acts as a reliable indicator of the fact that the bodies of Americans they are becoming, on average, less healthy over time.
The bottom line is that Americans are becoming heavier on average, a trend that is reflected in these new data, and this added weight is responsible for an increase in obesity. And obesity continues to be linked to a higher risk of numerous health conditions, particularly type 2 diabetes.
So far, despite some small successes in child obesity prevention among the younger ones, there is no indication that we are improving the obesity crisis as a whole.