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U.S. Adults Putting on Pounds Instead of Getting Taller

In 2016, about 18 percent of the nation's population was Hispanic, up from about 13 percent in 2000, according to U.S. Census figures.

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Weight, adults
This April 3, 2018 file photo shows a closeup of a beam scale in New York. A government report released Dec. 20, 2018, shows that adult waistlines are expanding. VOA

You don’t need to hang the mistletoe higher, but you might want to skip the holiday cookies.

A report released Thursday shows U.S. adults aren’t getting any taller but they are still getting fatter.

The average U.S. adult is overweight and just a few pounds from obese, thanks to average weight increases in all groups — but particularly whites and Hispanics.

Overall, the average height for men fell very slightly over the past decade. There was no change for women.

One factor may be the shift in the country’s population. There’s a growing number of Mexican-Americans, and that group tends to be a little shorter, said one of the report’s authors, Cynthia Ogden of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Adults
The researchers looked at how many people within each group died as compared to those within the normal weight population with no metabolic risk factors. Pixabay

The findings come from a 2015-16 health survey that measures height and weight. More than 5,000 U.S. adults took part.

CDC records date back to the early 1960s, when the average man was a little over 5 feet, 8 inches tall and weighed 166 pounds. Now, men are almost 1 inch taller and more than 30 pounds heavier. But today’s average height of 5 feet, 9 inches is about a tenth of an inch shorter than about a decade ago.

The average woman in the early 1960s was 5 feet, 3 inches and 140 pounds. Now, women are a half-inch taller and about 30 pounds heavier, on average. The average height is about the same as it was a decade earlier: 5 feet, 4 inches.

Other survey findings

* In the last decade, the average weight of men rose about 2 pounds, to 198. For women, it rose 6 pounds, to nearly 171.

exercise, Adults
Being physically active can also help prevent risk factors for stroke, like obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure Pixabay

* Men have 40-inch waistlines, on average. Women’s waistlines are a little under 39 inches.

* The average height of black men and white men has been holding about steady, at a little under 5 feet 10.

Also Read: Exposure to Certain Disinfectants Can Cause Obesity in Kids: Research

* Mexican-American and Asian-American men are roughly 3 inches shorter than whites and blacks, on average. There was a similar height gap in women.

In 2016, about 18 percent of the nation’s population was Hispanic, up from about 13 percent in 2000, according to U.S. Census figures. Mexican-Americans account for nearly two-thirds of the Hispanic population.(VOA)

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Researchers Identify Gene Linked to Obesity in Children

Approximately 70 per cent of the human population carries at least one variant of this polymorphism, which is associated with an increased risk of obesity

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Researchers have identified a common gene variant that increases the risk of obesity in children.
In a study published in Obesity journal, the researchers from University of Columbia found that a specific variant (single nucleotide polymorphism) of a gene called “FTO” affects eating behaviour that may be predictive of subsequent weight gain in children, who are at obesity risk.
“Early identification of the physiology and behaviours that constitute early risk factors for subsequent weight gain will help inform best practices for intervention and prevention of obesity in children,” said study author Michael Rosenbaum, a professor at Columbia University.
“This study shows that even before the development of an obese phenotype, children at risk, in this case by virtue of a common genetic variant, exhibit increased food intake,” added Rosenbaum.
For the study, the researchers included 122 children in the 5-10 year age group.
Obesity can now be cured by our body's natural weighing scales.
Obesity can now be cured by our body’s natural weighing scales.
The study discovered that children who are at risk of obesity due to this genetic variant had an increased calorie intake which may contribute to gaining excess weight.
“Even though 65 calories is not a lot per se, if this pattern generalized to multiple meals per week or day, this increased caloric intake can add up over time and may contribute to gaining excess weight,” said Rosenbaum.
According to the researchers, the report could be used to further study children at obesity risk for other reasons.
“The ultimate goal is to prevent the at-risk child or the child who has obesity from becoming an adult with obesity,” added Rosenbaum.
Approximately 70 per cent of the human population carries at least one variant of this polymorphism, which is associated with an increased risk of obesity. (IANS)