It's official, America: we're bigger than ever before. So big, in fact, that the average woman in America is now roughly the same weight as the average American man was in the 1960s, according to The Washington Post.
The average weight for a woman in the U.S. today is 166.2 pounds, according to stats from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That's close to the 166.3 pounds that marked the average weight of a man in 1960s America. And it represents a weight gain for women of 18.5 percent over the last 50 years.
The boys aren't doing much better. While the average man in the 1960s weighed just over 166 pounds, he now weighs 195.5 pounds. That's a jump of 17.6 percent.
To be fair, both men and women have gained an average of one inch in height since the 1960s, so some of that weight gain represents vertical growth. But let's face it — the majority of that weight is extra pounds around the waist, pounds that just weren't there 50 years ago.
Take a look at this comparison of the world's heaviest countries from a 2012 BMC Public Health study. The metric here is human biomass (the researchers looked at body mass index plus height distribution to estimate average adult body mass), and the bars make it clear America has a problem:
According to the CDC, there are three factors that have contributed to the weight gain. In general, Americans are eating less healthy food, we're eating biggers servings of that unhealthy food, and we no longer exercise as much. More than one-third (35.1 percent) of American adults over the age of 20 are considered obese, and almost 70 percent are either overweight or obese.
Around the world, Americans are the third fattest people on the planet, with only the pacific island nations of Micronesia and Tonga having bigger waistlines.
Now, I'm all for being No. 1, but this is one distinction America can afford to lose.
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