From the late 1980s and early 1990s, the average American has gained 15 extra pounds but still maintained the same height. The study has found out that even 11-year olds are victims of this weight increase. Boys have gained an inch in height and put on 13.5 pounds while the girls haven’t grown taller and added 7 pounds. When compared depending on the race, the blacks recorded more weight gain averagely. The black women added 22 pounds and remained unchanged in height. On the other hand, black men added one-fifth inch and 18 pounds compared to two past decades.

Little is done to control weight epidemic

Dr. David Katz, director of Yale University Prevention Research Center and president of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, says that what is being done to combat the weight plague is very little.

The new research results were made public by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics. The research was done on 19,151 subjects who were interviewed at home and also underwent medical test. As per the results, the average American man increased to 196 pounds from 181 pounds between 1998 to 1994 and 2011 to 2014. The average height was constant, 5 ft9”.

Meanwhile, the average woman had a surge from 152 pounds to 169 pounds while her height remained the same at 5ft4”.

Anthony Comuzzie, an obesity researcher and scientist with the department of genetics at the Texas Biomedical Research Institute in San Antonio, says that the 15 and 16 pounds increase in weight is significant in altering body mass index, BMI.
BMI estimates one’s fat by basing on the height and weight measurements. This leads to three categories of people: obese, overweight and normal.

Comuzzie explains that by looking at the findings, it means that those at the high end normal weight have skipped the line in to the overweight category. The high ends overweight are now in the obese group. This is vital considering that BMI has an impact on several diseases like diabetes and heart disease.

Factors responsible for the increase

What may be responsible for the weight increase is more a complex affair. Comuzzie partly suggests that decline in physical exercises as well as high consumption of food rich calories is to blame. He also goes ahead to bring physics in the explanation, saying that weight gain happens if the energy taken in is less than the energy expended.

So is it possible that the USA population is getting older and thus getting fatter due to lower metabolism? Katz and Comuzzie do not agree with this notion, considering that the report pairs all age groups.

The other thing that the two agree on is that this increase in weight is not good for the health of the nation. Research shows that coming years will see a rise in associated chronic disease such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Katz said that a lot is yet to be done and the possibility of that happening is a different thing.

Katz said that numerous efforts have been put in place to fight obesity but businesses propagate it so as to make money. The businesses range from big pharmacy, big media and big food chains.