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This Is How Much the Average American Weighs

197.9 pounds for men, 170.6 pounds for women—30 pounds more than in the early '60s
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 20, 2018 10:00 AM CST
Updated Dec 23, 2018 2:04 PM CST
Where do you fall on the weight continuum?   (Getty Images/artisteer)

(Newser) – Everyone might want to get a head start on their New Year's resolutions to shed a few pounds. Per CNN, a new report from the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics shows Americans are shrinking—the average height for men (5-9) and women (5-4) decreased slightly from 1999-2000 to 2015-2016—but they're getting heavier. Using data on more than 47,000 Americans ages 20 and over, the report found average waist circumference jumped more than an inch for men, 2 inches for women, and a more pronounced trend was spotted in terms of weight: Men claimed an average weight of 197.9 pounds in 2015-2016 (up from 189.4 pounds in 1999-2000), while the average US woman registered 170.6 pounds, up from 163.8. For context, in the early '60s, the average man weighed 166 pounds, the average woman 140, per the AP.

Who didn't take on a significant number of pounds, per the report: Asian men and women, black men, and Mexican-American women. Meanwhile, the CDC figures a healthy body mass index, or BMI, to hover between 18.5 and 24.9, entering the "obese" range at 30, and the new averages put us precipitously closer to falling into the latter: Average BMI was 29.1 for men in 2015-16, 29.6 for women; 16 years earlier, those figures were 27.8 and 28.2, respectively. A George Washington University health expert tells CNN the BMI stat is important, as it shows it's not just the obese packing on the weight. "On average, we are all getting heavier," he says. And it's not just a health concern: A public health instructor at Penn State notes that estimates of annual medical costs for the obese may be as high as $210 billion. (You can't blame a gene for your weight-loss struggles, scientists say.)

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