It looks like we were misunderestimating the situation a while back when we asked whether freedom's just another word for 10 pounds left to lose.
In fact, it turns out the Americans have gotten about 25 pounds heavier (and about an inch taller) since 1960. Here's the skinny on that:
The nation's expanding waistline has been well documented, though Wednesday's report [from the National Center for Health Statistics] is the first to quantify it based on how many pounds the average person is carrying.
The reasons are no surprise: more fast food, more television and less walking around the neighborhood, to name a few. Earlier this year, researchers reported that obesity fueled by poor diet and lack of activity threatens to overtake tobacco use as the leading preventable cause of death….
The trends are the same for children, the report said: Average 10-year-olds weighed about 11 pounds more in 1999-2002 than they did 40 years ago.
Whole thing here.
As Jacob Sullum reported in the August-September issue of Reason, the war on fat is the thin edge of a new attempt to regulate how we live our lives.
Update: Nick Schulz, editor at the invaluable Tech Central Station, points to the happy–and presumably lard-assed–campers over FuturePundit, who claim that natural selection may now be shopping for husky-sized jeans (and genes). Grab a second donut and read about it here.