Today's Average American Woman Weighs As Much As Average U.S. Man In The 1960’s

There’s a lot to chew on.

Image via CC (credit: global panorama)

The stereotype of the overweight American is most often represented in the image of an obese, white man. But it turns out some of the gains made by U.S. women over the past 50 years are literal, and often outpacing their male counterparts.

That’s because, as The Washington Post reports, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds that the average American woman now weighs 166.2 pounds, nearly as much as the average American man weighed in the 1960’s (166.3). Women aged 20 and up have also outpaced men in terms of overall weight gain since 1960, 18.5 percent to 17.6 percent, respectively. The Post notes that average height over that time has risen by about one inch, accounting for some of the rise in average weight but that “the story is mostly one of growing girth,” resulting from poor diet choices and reduced physical mobility.

For some context, considering the following statistics the Post shared:

The average American is 33 pounds heavier than the average Frenchman, 40 pounds heavier than the average Japanese citizen, and a whopping 70 pounds heavier than the average citizen of Bangladesh. To add up to one ton of total mass, it takes 20 Bangladeshis but only 12.2 Americans.

The CDC data shows men have put on plenty of weight, too, now weighing an average of 195.5 pounds with an average waist circumference of 39.7 inches. Of course, not all of that change can strictly be blamed on bad food and poor lifestyle choices. And it would be wrong to imply that women having fuller, natural bodies is a “bad thing.” There’s a greater emphasis on athleticism and muscular physiques in modern American culture. Plus, a wider distribution of basic nutritional options means that, food deserts aside, the average American has greater access to and more food options than ever before. And even with all of the bad temptations, some of those weight gains can actually be attributed to people living healthier lifestyles.

Nonetheless, the numbers show that Americans are growing and are larger than most of our global counterparts, which can have negative repercussions not only on our bodies but on our environment and even the economy.

via Alan Levine / Flickr

The World Health Organization is hoping to drive down the cost of insulin by encouraging more generic drug makers to enter the market.

The organization hopes that by increasing competition for insulin, drug manufacturers will be forced to lower their prices.

Currently, only three companies dominate the world insulin market, Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk and Sanofi. Over the past three decades they've worked to drastically increase the price of the drug, leading to an insulin availability crisis in some places.

In the United States, the price of insulin has increased from $35 a vial to $275 over the past two decades.

Keep Reading Show less

Oh, irony. You are having quite a day.

The Italian region of Veneto, which includes the city of Venice, is currently experiencing historic flooding. Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro has stated that the flooding is a direct result of climate change, with the tide measuring the highest level in 50 years. The city (which is actually a collection of 100 islands in a lagoon—hence its famous canal streets), is no stranger to regular flooding, but is currently on the brink of declaring a state of emergency as waters refuse to recede.

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet

Since the International Whaling Commission banned commercial whaling in 1986, whale populations have been steadily recovering. However, whales in the wild still face other dangers. In the summer of 2018, four Russian companies that supply aquariums with marine animals captured almost 100 beluga whales and killer whales (aka orcas). After a public outcry, those whales are swimming free as the last of the captive whales have been released, the first time this many captured whales have been released back into the wild.

In late 2018 and early 2019, a drone captured footage of 11 orcas and 87 beluga whales crammed into holding pens in the Srednyaya Bay. The so-called "whale jail" made headlines, and authorities began to investigate their potentially illegal capture.

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet
via Twitter / Bye,Bye Harley Davidson

The NRA likes to diminish the role that guns play in fatal shootings by saying, "Guns don't kill people, people kill people."

Which is the same logic as, "Hammers don't build roofs, people build roofs." No duh. But it'd be nearly impossible to build a roof without a hammer.

So, shouldn't the people who manufacture guns share some responsibility when they are used for the purpose they're made: killing people? Especially when the manufacturers market the weapon for that exact purpose?

Keep Reading Show less
via Gage Skidmore / Flickr

The 2020 election is a year away, but Donald Trump has some serious ground to cover if he doesn't want it to be a historical blowout.

A Washington Post- ABC News poll released Tuesday shows that Trump loses by double digits to the top Democratic contenders.

Vice President Joe Biden (56%-39%); Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts (54%-39%); Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont (56%-39%); South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg (52%-41%); and Sen. Kamala Harris of California (52%-41%) all have big leads over the president.

Keep Reading Show less