As of 2018, the adult American population has continuously gained weight, making the average overweight to the point of becoming obese. The 2019 pandemic forced us to stay at home. And while many Americans took this time to be more conscious of their health, many others seemed to have turned to food for comfort.
Staying home means having easy access to the kitchen, spending more time eating, cooking, and baking, and lesser time for physical activities since we were all confined to our homes with minimal movement. So, let’s find out the average weight for adults and the health implications of being over or below the recommended weight.
Average Weight for Adults in the US
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By definition, weight is your body’s mass or how heavy or light you are. Plenty of factors influence your weight, like your age, ethnicity, family history, gender, lifestyle, diet, and sleep.
And in the US, according to the 2022 data, the average weight of men is 199.8 pounds (90.63 kg), and for women, it is 170.8 pounds (77.47 kg).
Is this average weight too much?
To determine whether the average weight of American men and women is healthy, you have first to consider their body mass index (BMI). The BMI helps assess if you are overweight, underweight, obese, or have an average weight. To calculate the BMI, a person’s weight is divided by the square of their height. The weight should be measured in kilograms and height in meters.
If your BMI is below 18.5, you are considered underweight, while a BMI of 18.5 to 25.9 is considered normal weight. You will be categorized as overweight if your BMI is 25 to 29.9 and obese if it is more than 30.
The average BMI of American adult men and women is 26.6 and 26.5, respectively, and thus both genders are generally regarded as overweight.
Given this information, it is crucial for Americans to be more conscious of their health and weight. Being proactive in managing your weight is necessary to ensure good health, mobility, and mental well-being.
Health Implications of Being Overweight
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Consistently gaining weight may not seem like a cause for concern. But imagine these pounds accumulating over time. Being overweight or obese can cause numerous health issues. Take a look at some common weight-related health problems.
1. High Blood Pressure
When you are overweight, your heart has to work double time and pump harder to supply the needed blood to your cells. The excess fat may also impair your kidneys, which regulate your blood pressure.
Having this excess weight can also cause hypertension, which is a silent killer without any apparent symptoms. It can lead to stroke, heart disease, and even kidney failure. Achieving a normal BMI can lower blood pressure, which is the best way to help your heart.
2. Heart Disease
If you are overweight, you are at a greater risk of developing high cholesterol and high blood pressure, leading to heart problems.
The most common heart disease is when the blood vessels that carry the blood to your heart become narrow and hard. This prevents your heart from getting the necessary blood. It can cause heart failure, sudden cardiac arrest, stroke, abnormal heart rhythm, and chest pains or angina.
3. Sleep Apnea
When you are overweight, there is a significant chance that you accumulate fat in your neck area. This causes your airway to become smaller. It can affect your breathing, making it noisier and more difficult.
There are instances where it can even cause you to stop breathing briefly.
Your weight also exerts pressure on your muscles and joints. The extra, unnecessary weight your joints and muscles need to support can cause them to deteriorate faster. This is especially difficult when you get older, because your joints also age when you do, thus increasing your risk of injury.
Experiencing stiffness and pain in your joints and muscles are common side effects of being overweight or obese. It can also lead to joint inflammation.
5. Fatty Liver Disease
Fatty liver is another possible medical repercussion of being overweight or obese. This happens when the fat collects in your liver and causes scar tissue or damage, liver damage, or liver failure.
Overweight Prevention and Maintenance
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Being under or overweight can both cause a lot of health issues. However, losing weight is often more challenging than gaining weight. Shedding pounds requires commitment and discipline and a lot of changes paired with patience.
It’s always best to take a more holistic approach to your weight maintenance, such as establishing a healthier lifestyle, having a more nutritional approach to managing your weight, and regular exercise.
These practical tips can help you reach your goal.
1. Create a Healthy Relationship With Food
Appreciate the benefits of good, quality, and healthy food and start incorporating them into your daily diet. From whole grains to fruits and vegetables, proteins, and healthy carbs, you can use these healthy foods to create delicious recipes so you can stick to a healthier diet sustainably.
2. Get Moving
You don’t need a gym membership to work out and exercise. You can seamlessly incorporate regular exercise and movement into your daily routine. For example, use the stairs instead of taking the elevator or walk to run your errands instead of taking your car.
3. Reduce Your Stress
Binge eating because of stress? Everyone is guilty of that, it’s important to break this habit. Redirecting your energy and emotions to learning a new skill, reading a new book, trying yoga or running are all good alternatives to dealing with stress. Stress is also responsible for insulin imbalance, which can further cause health problems. Talk to your health provider if you’re dealing with excessive stress or anxiety.