It’s no secret that Americans are heavier than ever. But just how heavy? Evidently, the average American man has packed on 15lbs over the course of the last 20 years.

However, the average height of men hasn’t gotten any taller, meaning people are simply becoming more and more overweight (or men are packing on more muscle). This recent study shows that the average American male weighed around 180lbs between 1988 and 1994. Now, the average American male hovers around 195lbs. This increase has pushed many people into the overweight category, and additionally, many others into the obese and morbidly obese categories. [1]

The Centers for Disease Control estimate that as many as 35% of Americans are obese, and the annual bill for that excess weight is around $147 million dollars. This is due to all of the health issues obesity causes, which includes heart attack, stroke, cancer, and Type 2 diabetes.

The average American male, however, wasn’t the only one to increase in weight. The average American female also gained 15lbs since the 1980’s and 1990’s, and the average American child has also packed on 11lbs. The average height for both women and children also remains unchanged in that time.

However, the research shows that the increase in weight seems to have slowed down since 2002, stating that the average male has only gained 5lbs since then. So while the statistics are certainly alarming, it may be heartening to know that the rise is slowing down.

But doctors say that even having your BMI up by a measly two points can increase your cancer risk significantly, so it is important that Americans keep their weight under control.

Dr. John De Beixedon of the Pasadena Center for Medical Weight Loss says that most people are consuming, on average, 500 to 1000 calories per day in excess of what they need. He also adds that 10 years ago, only half of the states in the USA were considered overweight or obese. But now, the problem has spread to all 50 states. [2]

In order to maintain a healthy weight, researchers recommend that you cut down on sugary drinks and processed foods. One should exercise as much as possible every day to keep weight in check. Keeping track of your calories to ensure you’re not eating an excess amount is also recommended.

Sources:

[1] Voices of America

[2] ABC 7


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About Anna Scanlon:
Anna Scanlon is an author of YA and historical fiction and a PhD student at the University of Leicester where she is finishing her degree in modern history.