Atlanta, Ga. (CBS ATLANTA) — The average American woman now weighs as much as the average American man weighed in 1960.
Both U.S. men and women have been packing on the pounds since 1960, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showing that the average American woman now weighs 166.2 pounds – nearly identical to what American men weighed in the 1960s. And U.S. men have expanded greatly in the same time period, having gained nearly 30 pounds from the 1960s to 2010 – 166.3 pounds to 195.5 pounds today.
American women today have an average waist circumference of 37.5 inches.
So the average American woman is now the size of previous generation men, and barely able to limbo under the UFC’s Welterweight tonnage threshold–for males. I suppose 36-24-36 is out of the question. That’s quite a depressing load to bear, as most men prefer being able to clasp hands when embracing spouse. And on an entirely personal note, it’s an item I’ve found eternally perplexing. For all of the time, thought, and wealth women expend in preening and plummage, so many seem to eschew that which is most relevant. If a woman wants to be attractive she needs to remain young and lithe. And barring the success of appeals to time, that leaves the latter as her primary means of maintaining physical attractiveness. The effects of meticulous hair, clothes, and makeup–all swept before burgeoning blubber if this one aphorism is not observed: don’t get fat. And yet despite what every woman must intuit, here we are weighing in at 166.
I wonder if there is some unexamined dynamic beneath the headline of these statistics. Maybe something a mainstream news outlet would be too obtuse or cowed to report. Perhaps it will come to me later.
Though all of this pound packing reminds of an analagous phenomenon occurring in the microcosm of my own neighborhood. Where, as I’ve mentioned before, Americans are packing on the Hinduism. It’s quite an odd evolution. Twenty years ago people in this area were–there’s no other word for it–indifferent to the ambitions of fanged twenty-armed demon king, Ravana.
Yet now we burn an effigy of this entity on Vijayadashami. And to think he was just getting his life back together. The point being that who but statisticians could have ever forecast this religous turn in the American population?
Returning to the pound packing…
A 2012 study published in the journal MBC Public Health finds that Americans are now the world’s third-heaviest people, trailing only the Pacific Island countries of Tonga and Micronesia. The average U.S. adult is 33 pounds heavier than the average Frenchman and 70 pounds heavier than the average Bangladeshi citizen.
This presents a perfect opportunity to plug my statistical weight loss program. There are approximately 160 million svelte citizens of Bangladesh. If 310 million unisex Americans weigh 180.9, then importing every (former) Bangladeshi would result in a combined 470 million Americans weighing an average of 157 pounds. That’s 24 pounds shed for every man, woman, and child in the country! Think of how much better we would look and feel. Do you understand now, there is literally no delimma immigration can’t solve.
All of which leads back to the thought that eluded me above. There’s just something about
we Americans packing on the pounds…
However, obesity might not be as closely related to poverty as it is to other factors, like race and gender.
A recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that for black and Mexican-American men, obesity rates actually increased with income.
For women, the correlation between obesity and poverty seemed to bear out the theory (poverty=obesity). However, there is still a higher correlation between race and obesity than income and obesity.
For example, as income increased, obesity rates for both black and white women decreased. However, at the higher income level, obesity rates for white women fell much more than for black women.
Also, black and Hispanic women are much more likely to be obese to begin with. Obesity rates among black and Hispanic women are between 7 and 20 percentage points higher than those of white women in all income groups.
So obesity is substantially correlated to race, with blacks and hispanics having far greater rates of incidence than whites. Thus what enormous demographic profile shift could have possibly exacerbated this statistical pound packing? No one seems to know.
But while EBTs frolic, the future is going to be very fat.