The average body has gotten taller and heavier over the past 50 years. Studies show that trends, diets, and lifestyle choices have all contributed to the changes in the human body during the past decades, and in a few more years, it’s likely that the human race will see more changes in what is perceived as the normal physique.
The most noticeable changes are reflected in our physical appearance, proving that our bodies continue to evolve throughout the years. However, certain factors come with getting heavier and taller as a species, and it may be time to rethink our habits before it’s too late. Here, we take a look at how the average body has evolved over the past 50 years.
We got heavier
In 1960, the average man weighed 166 pounds, while the average women weighed 140 pounds. It has been thought that humans were slimmer at the time due to the fact that many people still did a lot of physical work as part of their routine. Portion sizes were also smaller, so people did not eat as much food as we do today.
While most people remained slim during the 70s, which was the height of the fitness craze, things took a turn for the worse in the 80s as more Americans started to become obese during the decade. Even children were not spared from obesity, and experts think that the prevalence of electronic media may have been a likely contributor to the nation’s alarming weight gain. By 2002, the average weight for men had increased dramatically to 191 pounds.
We got slightly taller
The average height of men during the 70s was 5’7″, while the average height of women was 5’3″. In 2002, the average height of men shifted to 5’8″, while women stayed the same height. While the height increase in adults is subtle, the notes that it was more noticeable in children.
In 1963, the average 10-year-old boy stood 55.2”, and by 2002, the average height was 55.7”. Meanwhile, the average height of 10-year-old girls went from 4’6″ inches in 1963 to 4’7″ inches in 2002. It is thought that better nutrition may have contributed to the slight height increase over the past 50 years.
Reasons why we gained weight
The massive weight gain over the years is not only due to the bigger food portions that we consume on a daily basis, but it’s also due to the quality of food that we eat. Moreover, we have grown increasingly sedentary as more people are working while sitting down in front of computers. Children have also grown attached to games on their phones and other gadgets, which explains the lack of physical activity among the young.
Consequences of weight gain
Although it may be difficult to predict how the human body will continue to evolve over the next few years, there are ways to change things for the better by making good food choices, exercising, and avoiding certain habits such as smoking and drinking. If we choose to be healthier today, hopefully, our habits may greatly influence and benefit future generations, and they, in turn, may make better choices for many years to come.
Sally Collins is a professional freelance writer with many years experience across many different areas. She made the move to freelancing from a stressful corporate job and loves the work-life balance it offers her. When not at work, Sally enjoys reading, hiking, spending time with her family and travelling as much as possible.