There must be something in the water, or maybe it’s all those antibiotics in the chicken we eat. Whatever it is, Americans are getting bigger, and that includes women. According to Brian Torchin, the average weight of American women these days is 166.2 pounds. The average in 1960 was 140 pounds. American adults continue to gain weight even when they exercise and diet. American adults eat a lot for a variety of reasons, and that’s why 69 percent of the adult population is considered overweight or obese.
We don’t want to be obese or overweight, but we can’t stop eating. It’s not that the food tastes better than it did in the 1960s, because it doesn’t. But the added stress and anxiety we feel is at a higher level than it was in the 1960s. We didn’t have the added pressure of checking out cellphones every five minutes or those annoying airplane seats that make us feel fat when we’re not.
But the real reason we are bigger than we were 55 years ago is we want to be bigger. Big means better to us. We are educated to believe in bigness, and our weight proves we believe big should be in all things including us.