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Americans Getting Taller, Fatter

Americans are getting a little taller and a lot fatter.

Adults are roughly an inch taller than they were in the early 1960s, on average, but nearly 25 pounds heavier, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Wednesday.

The nation's expanding waistline has been well documented, though Wednesday's report is the first to quantify it based on how many pounds the average person is carrying.

In 1960-62, the average man weighed 166.3 pounds. By 1999-2002, the average had reached 191 pounds.

Similarly, the average woman's weight rose from 140.2 pounds to 164.3 pounds.

The report also documented a dramatic increase in weight when measured by body mass index, a scale that takes into account both height and weight. Average BMI has increased from about 25 to 28 over the 40-year span.

Anyone with a BMI of 25 and up is considered overweight, and those with BMIs of 30 and up are considered obese.

Americans are also getting a little bit taller.

Men's average height increased from 5 feet 8 inches in the early 1960s to 5 feet 9½ inches in 1999-2002.

The average height of a woman went from just over 5 feet 3 inches to 5 feet 4 inches.

The report defines men and women as those ages 20 to 74 years old.

By Laura Meckler

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