Americans are Getting Bigger
Bigger is Better?
Bigger is Better?
Wow...I see a growing trend. Eventually, our fast food/throw-away society is gonna bite us in the A**...And it appears to be coming soon. I still believe though, that it's a sign of the end times when we have fat Asians (natives).For the first time since World War II, a national survey has sized up the average American body, not just by weight and height or even the standard chest-waist-hip routine, but in more than 240 measurements tip to toe.
The results confirm what other statistics have shown: that Americans have grown. In their sheer detail, the measurements also show just how and where â€” an intimate portrait of the national body with all its Lycra-ed love handles, sucked-in stomachs and fashionably disguised spare tires.
The survey â€” called SizeUSA and sponsored by clothing and textile companies, the Army, Navy and several universities â€” measured more than 10,000 people in 13 cities nationwide using a light-pulsing 3-D scanner.
Among the findings: older men have trimmer thighs than younger men. Black women are larger than other women, but they are also most likely to have the classic hourglass figure. Sixty-four percent of women are pear-shaped, and 30 percent are "straight," meaning they had little perceptible waist.
Nineteen percent of men are "portly," and another 19 percent have "lower front waists," meaning, the researchers said, they had to look under a belly to find the waist. Men over 45 are most likely to have potbellies, women over 36, bigger hips (though black women older than 55 have smaller hips than those 46 to 55).
Over all, the new measurements shake up what have long been considered the average outlines of the American body. For years, an average woman was thought to be a size 8, although some circles had bumped that up to size 12 in recent years. But even the women who came in on the small side in the SizeUSA survey look more like what the longtime clothing industry standards would consider a size 14 â€” the size at which "plus size" clothing begins.
Industry standards set a size 8 at a 35-inch bust, a 27-inch waist, and 37.5-inch hip. In the survey, white women ages 18 to 25 came in, on average, 38-32-41, with white women ages 36 to 45 coming in at 41-34-43. (Barbie, long the plastic bane of body image, is said to have measurements that project to about 39-18-33.) In that same age group, black women measure, on average, 43-37-46, Hispanic women 42.5-36-44, and "other" women, which researchers said meant mostly Asian, 41-35-43.
Similarly, most men are larger than the traditional 40 regular, long considered the average. A 40 regular, according to standards, means a 40-inch chest, 34-inch waist, and 40-inch hip, with a 15.5-inch collar. In the survey, white men ages 18 to 25 had, on average, a 41-inch chest, 35-inch waist, 41-inch hips and a 16-inch collar (that is raw neck size â€” shirts are generally sized at least a half-inch bigger). From the ages of 36 to 45, white men came in at 44-38-42, black men 43-37-42, Hispanic men 44-38-42 and "other" 42-37-41.
"Waists are the first problem, " said Jim Lovejoy, the director of SizeUSA and a director at TC2, the Cary, N.C., technology firm whose machines did the survey. "The numbers show that we're complex, but we're definitely getting heavier, and it's primarily in the waist â€” and the hips follow the waist."
The last national survey was done in 1941, when the United States Department of Agriculture sent out researchers with tape measures to size up the population in anticipation of having to design military uniforms for World War II. Sirvart Mellian, an anthropologist and a member of the board that sets the clothing size standards for the American Society of Testing and Materials, said those numbers were then taken by the mail-order industry to design clothing sizes.
But they measured a population far less diverse than today's. As more Americans have become overweight, A.S.T.M. has increased the measurements for the standard sizes. Clothing companies, too, began using "vanity sizing," putting, say, a size 6 label on a size 10 in the hopes of luring a customer. Even men's sizes, which are considered more accurate because they are labeled in inches, are often "relaxed" to measure an inch bigger than the advertised size.
But until now, no one has gone out and updated the actual measurements. Clothing companies wanted updated information to better design products to fit their customers.