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Americans Are Getting Heavier, But Not Taller

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Are Americans still getting heavier despite all the efforts to fight it? New federal data shows that the fight against obesity is far from over, as Americans keep getting heavier, but not getting taller.

American Are Getting Heavier

Since 1980, the prevalence of obesity in the United States has been increasing. In a new report by the National Center for Health Statistics of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, researchers provided data on the body weight, height, waist circumference, and body mass index (BMI) of adults in the United States from 1999-2000 through 2015-2016. In it, the data reveals that from 1999, the mean weight, waist circumference, and BMI of the participants increased, but the mean height did not. In fact, the mean height was even lower in some groups in 2015-2016 than in 1999-2000.

During this period, there was an 8-pound increase in weight among men and 7-pound increase in weight among women, but no increase in average height in both groups. By 2016, the average weight for men was 198 pounds, and 170 pounds for women. Among the race groups, white men and women, as well as Mexican-Americans and black women had the highest weight increase, while black men and Asian-Americans had no significant differences in the body measures.

Fight Against Obesity

Experts find the data alarming, especially given the ongoing fight against obesity in the country. Generally, the CDC considers a BMI of 25 to 29.9 as overweight, and a BMI of over 30 to be obese. Now, the BMI of the average woman is approaching 30.

What this shows, they say, is that the obesity problem still has not been stabilized despite all the attention and all the efforts that are being made against it. As a public health crisis, it is no longer enough to simply tell people to exercise more and consume less, but requires more aggressive policies.

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