The average American man compared to his Japanese counterpart. Guess which one is the American?
Credit: Nickolay Lamm
The average 30- to 39-year-old American man is 5 foot 9 inches, has a 39-inch waist, and a body mass index (BMI) of 29, just shy of obesity, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's anthropometric data.
And this is what that man looks like: Artist Nickolay Lamm has created avatars of the average U.S. man, along with his similarly average counterparts in Japan, the Netherlands and France. His comrades across the pond are much slimmer, with BMIs of 23.7, 25.2 and 25.6 respectively, The Atlantic reported. (For adults, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers a BMI of 18.5 – 24.9 normal weight, 25.0 – 29.9 overweight and 30.0 and above as obese.)
American men used to be the tallest in the world, but after World War II American heights have mostly plateaud while European men have shot up: The average Dutch man is now 6 feet (1.8 meters) tall, for instance. Men also didn't used to be so round in the United States, but lifestyle changes over the last 50 years have made the American population increasingly overweight.