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CDC: Americans Weigh 15 Pounds Heavier Than 20 Years Ago

Aug 04, 2016 07:39 AM EDT

Americans are weighing more than they did 20 years ago, a new federal report found.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics published a report on Wednesday showing that the average American now weighs about 15 pounds heavier since the early 1990s, but are not getting any taller.

"We are not doing nearly enough to control and reverse the obesity epidemic and doing far too much to propagate it. This is another notice of that sad fact," Dr. David Katz, president of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine and director of Yale University Prevention Research Center, told HealthDay.

After analyzing data on 19,151 people between 2011 to 2014, the researchers found that the average man standing 5 ft. 9 in. weighs 195.7 lbs., while the average woman who is 5 ft. 4 in. weighs 168.5 lbs. Data shows that men are now 15 lbs. heavier than the average weight in 1988 to 1994, and women are now 16 pounds heavier.

The average height, however, remained the same for both men and women.

"A 15- to 16-pound weight gain is fairly significant and typically would be consistent with a couple of points increase in body mass index (BMI)," Anthony Comuzzie, obesity researcher and scientist at the Texas Biomedical Research Institute, told HealthDay.

According to Comuzzie, the increasing BMI is an indicator of overall risk for different diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes.

The biggest increase in weight among men was for those aged between 60 to 69 years old, who weigh almost 17 lbs. heavier than men of the same age group 20 years ago. Among women, the highest increase in weight was for those aged 20 to 29 years old, averaging at 20.7 lbs. more than they did 20 years ago.

Despite the developments in treatments, equipment and medication, health experts believe that America's obesity problem is still hanging strong. In May, CDC reported an increase in obesity rate for 2015, stating that 30.4 percent of American adults aged 20 and above were obese. In June, CDC also released new data showing that 40 percent of American women are now obese.

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