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June 19, 2019

Americans are getting shorter and fatter, national report shows

December 20, 2018
American waistlines are growing, according to a new study by the National Center for Health Statistics. (M. Spencer Green / AP)

There’s a fresh wake-up call to go easy on those holiday cookies — and any other junk food that comes your way in the New Year.

Americans are getting fatter and shorter, according to a report out Thursday by the National Center for Health Statistics, which is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Women’s waistlines expanded more than two inches, from 36.3 inches in 1999-2000 to 38.6 inches in 2015-16. The waistlines of men grew a little less, just just over an inch, from 39 inches to 40.2 inches.

When it comes to weight, men have ballooned eight pounds on average from 189.4 pounds in 1999-2000 to 197.9 pounds in 2015-16 was. Women widened about seven pounds in the same time period, from 163.8 to 170.6 pounds.

Oddly, height is going down. Men have shrunk from 5 feet, 9.2 inches in 1999-2000 to 5 feet, 9.1 inches in 2015-16. Women went from 5 feet, 3.8 inches in 1999-2000 to 5 feet, 3.7 inches in 2015-16.

The analysis was done by using a sample of data from nearly 50,000 Americans over age 20 taken from National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys between 1999 and 2016.

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