There was a little news release last week that revealed a startling number. Per a survey, the average woman in America weighs the same as the average man in 1960. It was one of those undeniable, smack-you-in-the-face things that confirms what your eyes see. The problem with the story is the nice chart that goes with it. See that steady rise from women weighing 140 in 1960 to 166 today? Does anything feel odd about those rising numbers throughout the last five decades? They should since for decades the press has said that the average American woman weighs 140 pounds. How can we have any type of policy discussion if the numbers we are told are either altered or do not match when methodology is changed. This is a problem of scale and truth.
Skeptics might say, "Bah, the press has discussed our weight gain for yeeeeears, gimme a break Sherman". No, look back at their own articles. Here is a NY Times article from 2004 discussing the average American woman weighing 144 pounds now compared to 140 pounds in 1994. You can also search for pictures where the media even into the 2000s would show the average woman with bold letering of 5'4" and 140 lbs and then show how that looks on different body types. The Wapo study is from the CDC, while the NY Times survey is not CDC but coordinated with the CDC to line up their sample. The 140 pounds number should ring a bell though because that was the number cited through the years for the average American woman. That was a lie. That was the average American woman in 1960. Per the CDC survey cited in the Wapo story, the average American woman crossed 150 in the late '80s and then 160 around the year 2000. To put this in perpsective, the 140 number was last seen before the Beatles.
Some weight gain makes sense as the average age of Americans has risen by almost a full decade since 1970. Older people are usually heavier. If you believe in different groups of people looking different, then looking at America's increasingly Mexican population, is part of the answer. Mexico actually beats America for obese citizens. Now that you know this though, do you even trust the number the CDC gives for today? Do you trust other surveys? When I am out in public, I do not think the average weight has stabilized as the CDC graph shows. It looks like it has become worse. I would go to the zoo now more to observe homo hippopotamus than the animals in exhibits. Think of these fat stats... do you believe a single sex survey that says Americans are having more and better sex than ever? Me neither.
The obesity epidemic has no silve bullet solution. Human bodies work differently, but we're also too massive of a nation with too ethnically diverse of a population to attack the problem without mentioning unmentionables. At its core, how many people are stuffing their face because secular prog-land leaves them feeling or because we removed all shaming techniques and the underclass has no goal they are trying to aspire to or betters worthy of imitating. The other problem is that food delivery, production and whatnot all skew in favor of the low cost provider who can leverage their access to governments. "Don't worry about upset plebians, just make EBT accepted at fast food and we'll put a franchise right in the worst neighborhoods and rural towns. You'll help the Big Pharma diabetes racket too!" Before we even approach the problem, we need to make sure that our policy makers, our opinion shapers and the public are armed with reliable and truthful numbers.