December 20, 2018

Americans Getting Fatter, Not Taller

American adults are growing wider and shorter

According to a new federal report released from the CDC, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the health of American adults is on the decline. Not only is the average adult in the US overweight, but our height has seen a decline in the last few decades as well.

This is particularly concerning, given that the average weight is going up, while the average height is going down, it means we are getting fatter. This trend was recorded in all population groups, though the strongest indicators were seen in whites and Hispanics.

Americans Getting Shorter and Fatter

One theory for this shift in body metrics is that it is a result of a population change in our country. With the influx of Mexican Americans, which are estimated to be around two-thirds of all Hispanics in the US, this could lead to a change in these measurables. On average, this cultural group tends to be shorter than other Americans who come from European or another ancestry.

A sample of 5,000 Americans comprised the results in this study that was conducted in a 2015-2016 health survey which measured height and weight, among other statistics. The records for the CDC date back to the early 1960s. At that time, the average man had a height of 5 feet 8 inches and weight around 165 pounds. In the newest survey, men grew about 1 inch taller than the early surveys, though they are weighing more than 30 pounds heavier. While 5 feet 9 inches is an increase in height relative to the studies conducted 50 years ago, it represents a 0.1-inch decrease as compared to a decade ago.

Maybe Americans today need to start taking a supplement to help them grow taller, like Growth Factor Plus!

As for the women, the average height in the early studies in the 60s was 5 feet 3 inches and an average weight of 140 pounds. In the new study, women are now about 0.5 inches taller though they are also about 30 pounds heavier.

A gain of over 30 pounds in both genders, as compared to 50 years ago, is quite striking. However, the most astonishing statistics come when looking at data from just the last decade. The average weight for an adult male rose 2 pounds in the last decade, to 198 pounds. Women saw an even larger increase in the last decade, with weight rising by 6 pounds to nearly 171 pounds on average. The average waistlines are 40 inches and 39 inches for men and women, respectively.

What This Means


I would have to agree with the assertion that a shift in the makeup of our population has a lot to do with the changes in these body metrics. I would say that nutritionally we are so much more well-equipped to stay in good health – whether those adopted into healthy lifestyle habits or not remains to be seen. It is said that Mexican Americans are roughly 3 inches shorter than white and African American people, so that could help explain the changes in these statistics.

Particularly for the stats to change so much in such a short time, over the last decade, I can’t think of anything biologically or evolution-wise that could explain the shift in the short-term.

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About 

T.J. LaPanta is a Florida based aspiring comedian and health nut.
When he's not trying to hack his way through a post-graduate degree, he's slaving away in the kitchen, working out, or trying to score a date.

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