Where Has The American Waistline Gone?
Surely you can look around and see that waistlines are disappearing. As a health professional, I am very alarmed because this type of weight gain in the central fat area around the organs is a predictor of a huge increase in risk of cancer, heart disease and diabetes. So I looked up the stats!
The average American lady in the 1960’s was 5 feet, 4 inches tall and 120 lbs, with a waist size of 24-25 inches, and a BMI of 20.59. She wore what was referred to then as a size 8, which in today’s sizing is more like a size 4. The average American lady today is 5 feet, 4 inches tall and 166 lbs, with a waist size of 37.5 inches, and a BMI of 28.49, and wears around a size 10-14.
The American women's body weight has increased by 18.5 percent since the 1960's.
Meanwhile, guys you are not off the hook: U.S. men have also gained almost 30 pounds— 166.3 to 195.5 pounds today, with the increase in waistline as well. (But I'm dedicating this post to the gals.) Now I read so many things claiming 'oh, it's hormonal', it's menopause, it's genetics, it's sleep deprivation, its medication... And in truth, these can all play a part! But let's go ahead and look at the first three potential causes: hormones, menopause, genetics, all of which we should be dubious about, because did not the women in the 60's have the same chemical/hormonal issues we do, and also receive genes from their relatives? Let's look at sleep deprivation. Absolutely our metabolism can get whacked by this, but there are lifestyle strategies we can implement to get more in line with how often and how long our bodies want to sleep. Medication? Yes, definitely, and I am very attuned to health coaching and personal training clients who are dealing with several meds and the effects on their weight. But there are also strategies for dealing with this, and the first place we start is: what are you putting in your mouth? Where do you get your energy from, and what lack-of nutrients is affecting your hormonal balance?
The biggest change since the 1960s is the explosion of fast, processed, and convenience foods with little or no nutritional value, coupled with the decrease of physical activity, especially in the last 15 years where we've seen the rise of obesity in both adults and children. These have led to the epidemic we now have in this country. And this is exactly where we start to begin to whittle that waist down!
Need help? Contact me, I think I can find your waist for you!