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From 1960 to 2000, the average weight of adult men and women in the United States rose 17.6 percent and 18.5 percent, respectively—so much that the average woman weighs “almost exactly as much as the average man weighed in the early 1960s,” Christopher Ingraham reported for The Washington Post.

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The federal Centers for Disease Control & Prevention said the average adult woman weighed 166.2 pounds in 2010, up from about 140 pounds in 1960. The average weight for men has increased from 166.3 to 195.5.

Obesity has become an epidemic in the U.S., where at least 30 percent of adults in 18 states are obese, mostly in the South. The reasons for the weight gains are that Americans are eating less healthy food, eating more, and not getting enough exercise, Ingraham wrote. Obesity is more prevalent in rural areas.

Americans are continually getting heavier than residents in other countries. “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,” Ingraham wrote. The study said “tackling population fatness may be critical to world food security and ecological sustainability.”

[Editor’s Note: This article was cross-posted from The Rural Blog. Top image by Brent Moore / Flickr.]

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Tim Mandell

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