WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Americans are getting taller on average but they are much heavier too, according to government figures released on Wednesday showing that the U.S. population is, literally, growing.
The findings hold for women, men and children, the National Center for Health Statistics reports.
On average, adult men and women are about an inch taller than they were in 1960 and 25 pounds heavier.
The average body mass index (BMI), a weight-for-height formula used to measure obesity, has tipped across the overweight point from 25 in 1960 to 28 in 2002.
The government's latest report on height and weight shows that the average height of a man aged 20 to 74 went from just over 5 feet 8 inches in 1960 to 5 feet 9 inches in 2002.
The average height of a woman has gone from 5 feet 3 inches to 5 feet 4 inches.
Weights, however, have ballooned. The average weight of an adult man was 166.3 pounds in 1960 and 191 pounds in 2002, while the average weight for women went from 140.2 pounds to 164.3 pounds.
"This is exactly what we have been concerned about," Dr. Julie Gerberding, head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said in a telephone interview.
"It tells me that we are facing an ominous trend in the degree of obesity and lack of physical fitness in our country. It is going to have profound health impacts on our children, on our adults and on our seniors."
Not only are we bigger than you are but we're bigger than you are too