U.S. adults aren’t getting taller, but are still putting on pounds
photo by: AP Photo/Patrick Sison, File
New York — You don’t need to hang the mistletoe higher, but you might want to skip the holiday cookies.
A new report released Thursday shows U.S. adults aren’t getting any taller but they are still getting fatter.
The average U.S. adult is overweight and just a few pounds from obese, thanks to average weight increases in all groups — but particularly whites and Hispanics.
Overall, the average height for men actually fell very slightly over the past decade. There was no change for women.
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One factor may be the shift in the country’s population. There’s a growing number of Mexican-Americans, and that group tends to be a little shorter, said one of the report’s authors, Cynthia Ogden of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The findings come from a 2015-16 health survey that measures height and weight. More than 5,000 U.S. adults took part.
CDC records date back to the early 1960s, when the average man was a little over 5 feet, 8 inches tall and weighed 166 pounds. Now, men are almost 1 inch taller and more than 30 pounds heavier. But today’s average height of 5 feet, 9 inches is about a tenth of an inch shorter than about a decade ago.
The average woman in the early 1960s was 5 feet, 3 inches and 140 pounds. Now, women are a half-inch taller and about 30 pounds heavier, on average. The average height is about the same as it was a decade earlier: 5 feet, 4 inches.
Other survey findings:
• In the last decade, the average weight of men rose about 2 pounds, to 198. For women, it rose 6 pounds, to nearly 171.
• Men have 40-inch waistlines, on average. Women’s waistlines are a little under 39 inches.
• The average height of black men and white men has been holding about steady, at a little under 5 feet 10.
• Mexican-American and Asian-American men are roughly 3 inches shorter than white and black men, on average. There was a similar height gap in women.
In 2016, about 18 percent of the nation’s population was Hispanic, up from about 13 percent in 2000, according to U.S. Census figures. Mexican-Americans account for nearly two-thirds of the Hispanic population.