Econstudentlog

The average US female weighs more than I do

I had no idea it was that bad. Here’s the link.

“Measured average height, weight, and waist circumference for adults ages 20 years and over

* Men:
Height (inches): 69.4 (176,3 cm)
Weight (pounds): 194.7 (88,5 kg)
Waist circumference (inches): 39.7 (100,8 cm)

* Women:
Height (inches): 63.8 (162,1 cm)
Weight (pounds): 164.7 (74,9 kg)
Waist circumference (inches): 37.0 (94 cm)”

The numbers are from 2003-2006, and I’m pretty sure they haven’t gone down during the time that has passed. In case you were wondering, I’m at about 73-74 kg most of the time, so there’s not much of a difference. But still!

Danish females weighed an average of 68,0 kg in 2005, whereas the male average was 83,1 kg (the link has a lot more). The Danish females gained 5,8 kg’s on average from 1987 to 2005, and if that trend has continued since then, they are at 69,6 kg now – not that far behind.

Yes, I know there are significant regional differences in the US, for more on that aspect you can go here.

September 8, 2010 - Posted by | data, demographics, health

3 Comments »

  1. I’ve been exercising all year, cut 10 kilos and am now down to 95 kilos. Which is reasonable as I stand at 195 centimeters.

    You clock in at 74 kilos. So how tall are you, or to put it more bluntly; are you short or skinny?

    Be Happy!

    Comment by WilliamJansen | September 9, 2010 | Reply

  2. “are you short or skinny?”

    Neither, I’d say, though it’s a difficult question to answer because of the ‘compared to what?’-thing. I’m a little shorter than the average Dane (stats at the link in the post), I’m pretty close to the 1987-average/estimate quoted in the article.

    I should probably add that I really don’t care much about my weight, and that the weight estimates I make use of are the averages of estimates from diabetes controls over time – I get weighed at the hospital when I go there, which I do regularly, but I don’t own a bathroom scale at home, so there’s likely a huge sigma playing in the background.

    Comment by US | September 9, 2010 | Reply

  3. I can testify that it is indeed that bad here in the US. My personal observation (no causality implied) is that excessive weight tends to correlate with income and education very well. Drive (haha, who would walk or cycle here?) 10 miles outside the city, and it’s like you are Alice in Fatland. Cross over into New Jersey (which is significantly richer than Pennsylvania), and you feel like you just left Fatland. Of the 5 colleagues on my team, 3 are okay (I am 181 cm, 68 kg, BMI 20.8), one is pretty overweight (177 cm, 90 kg), and one is morbidly obese (180 cm, 145 kg, serious health issues – thyroid removed, e.g.). As you can see, on average my office is a bunch of lardasses, even though actually 3 of us are at or below normal, so we have a significantly skewed distribution – hardly any Americans are underweight, but a significant portion are so overweight as to dislodge the average. Again, though, in the US the breakdown of groups is even more illuminating – if you want to be even more shocked, look up data on black females (for example, great charts here: http://www.halls.md/chart/height-weight.htm ), who in middle age weigh almost as much on average as the average black male. The age profiles on these charts are very interesting – look for example how early the 95th percentile for black males peaks.

    I have heard explanations that attribute American obesity on junk food snacks and soda between meals, and I suppose that may be the case in, erm, for lack of better term, underclass social groups, where I have no observations. However, in my social milieu, that does not seem to be the case – people mostly snack on relatively healthy stuff, and mostly drink diet soda. It is just that too many of them eat too much at each regularly scheduled meal; they also happen to be the ones who do not exercise – those who do exercise seem to have good control over their food intake.

    Comment by Plamus | September 10, 2010 | Reply


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