Despite progress in recent years, Americans continue to weigh more than ever before. According to recent data, the average American woman today weighs about the same as the average American man did in 1960.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), American men now weigh an average of 195.5 pounds and American women weigh an average of 166.2 pounds.
The Washington Post says those numbers have been rising steadily since the 1960s. As multiple sources have pointed out, the average weight of American women today is almost exactly the same as the average weight of American men in 1960: 166.3 pounds.
That’s an increase of 18.5 percent, says Good Housekeeping. Today’s average man weighs 195.5 pounds, which is a 17.6 percent increase from the 1960 mean.
The Washington Post notes that Americans overall have increased in height by about an inch in the same time span, which could account for some of the weight gain.
The CDC calls the weight gain of the last half century “dramatic” and notes that, while it seems to be slowing, the gain shows no signs of stopping in the near future.
The Telegraph reports that the U.S. population is now considered to be the world’s third heaviest, listed only after Micronesia and Tonga. The average American is about 44 pounds heavier than the national average.
The United States accounts for almost a third of global body weight with only about 5 percent of the world’s population.
Multiple studies have found that around 30 percent of Americans can now be considered overweight. According to the Washington Post, the chief causes of this gain are considered to be poorer nutrition and increasingly sedentary lifestyles.