Sunday, November 29, 2009

Average Body Fatness, Worse Than We Thought

We are all aware of the fact that more and more Americans are overweight. Well, now we have some numbers to show just how fat we are. The Journal of Clinical Nutrition recently published a study that actually measured (acurately with DEXA) the body composition of 13,000 adult men and women.

As expected, women had a higher percent body fat than men. However, the shocking news is just how fat the average American man and woman are. The average adult female average body fat was 40%. While the average male body fat was 26%. Again, these are the average numbers, meaning many people are much higher than the average.

A body fat of 30% is considered obese and more than 35% is considered morbidly obese. No wonder we have a health care crisis! 80% of all health care spending is for a chronic disease. If this level of body fatness continues, then there will be no health to insure, just diseases to manage.

**Am J Clin Nutr 2009;90:1457–65.

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