Americans are getting fatter and shorter

health problems related to obesity 1

A government report estimates that average weight, waist circumference, and body mass index (BMI) increased among Americans between 1999 and 2016. This paper shows that the US obesity epidemic is only to get worse.

A disturbing situation

The United States – like many other countries – is struggling with an epidemic of obesity. A few months ago we reported on a report from Trust for America’s Health, which had then revealed that by 2017, no state had seen an overall decline in obesity, while six had seen an increase. This week, a new report from the NCHS proves the situation to be ever more worrying.

In the US, more than 36.5% of adults and about 20% of children aged 6 to 19 are obese. They are therefore exposed to heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and many cancers. It could also be that in the near future, a federal tax on junk food – as for cigarettes – is implemented in the United States.

Obesity in the United States, from bad to worse

On December 20, 2018, the National Center for Health Statistics released a new report that should not reassure, far from it. The report explains that the average weight, waist circumference and body mass index (BMI) increased in the United States between 1999-2000 and 2015-2016. This conclusion was formulated after physical examinations carried out in the country on 47,233 persons over 20 years of age.

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In 1999, women averaged 164 lbs and men 190 lbs. Fifteen years later, an American female weighs on average 171 lbs and an American male 198 lbs. The waistline of men on average increased by 1.18 inches during this time (from 39 to 40) and that of women increased by 2 inches to reach 38.5! BMI is also up: from 27.8 to 29.1 for men and from 28.2 to 29.6 for women.

The report also indicates that the American population has lost in size. In fact, the average size of an American male was 175.6cm in 1999 and 175.4 in 2016 (-0.2cm). That of American women went from 161.7 to 161.1 (-0.6cm).

Health and financial consequences

A “normal” weight must have a BMI between 18.5 and 24.9. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that a BMI greater than 25 is synonymous with being overweight. It becomes a question of obesity when the value 30 is exceeded.

You should know that more than 93 million people are considered obese in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The annual cost of medical care related to the consequences of obesity would be around 150 billion dollars!

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Shakes Gilles

Editor of The Talking Democrat. He enjoys bike riding, kayaking and playing soccer. On a slow weekend, you'll find him with a book by the lake.