If you've had trouble fitting into your pants recently, you are not alone. A new report shows that American waistlines are getting bigger — growing by an average of one inch over the last decade.
The report, compiled by researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and published in a recent issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that the average waist of an American man increased from 38.9 inches to 39.7 inches during the study period of 1999-2012. The average woman's waist grew even more — from 36.3 inches to 37.8 inches. The increases held for men, women, whites, blacks and Mexican Americans.
The study also found that more and more Americans — both men and women — are considered "abdominally obese," with waist sizes at or larger than 40.2 inches for men and 34.6 inches for women. Health experts warn that carrying that much extra weight around the middle increases a person's risk of diabetes, heart disease and premature death. According to the CDC study, 43 percent of men and 64 percent of women are in that zone. That's an increase from the 37 percent of men and 55 percent of women who were considered abdominally obese in 1999.
For the study, researchers used tape measures to record the waist sizes of 32,816 men and women age 20 and older.
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