Walking has been shown to be just as effective as diet in combating obesity. In fact, a combination of walking and a healthy diet has been shown to reduce body weight, so a change of lifestyle could be exactly what you need to help your health and wellbeing. How has body size increased over the years and why?

The Swinging Sixties

Thin was in during the 1960s and obesity was rare. The average body size of an American woman was 120 lbs and the average size of an American man was 162 lbs. Times were different with women doing many of the chores and men going out to work. However, chores could be extremely physical, and men worked in many manual labor jobs, therefore physical fitness was common. People did not eat large portions of food, but many people were starting to drive more frequently.

The 1970s and 1980s

The average life expectancy of American women in 1970 was 67.1 and for men was 74.7, lower than it is now. However, many people smoked in the 1970s and many looked very fit and slim. Fructose began to make an appearance in American food, but obesity was rare at this time. It began to increase due to the appearance of fructose in foods during the 1980s and portion size got bigger as food became cheap to buy. The average female weighed between 152 and 164 lbs but the average height was 5 feet 4 inches.

The 1990s to 2000s

The average percentage of obese adults in America increased from 11.1 percent in 1990 to 29.3 percent in 2005. As many models were slim, there was an increase in the number of people suffering from anorexia nervosa with many trying desperately to emulate their idols. However, the general population was overweight, and this was on the increase. This has continued in the 2000s as many are now working in office jobs or behind a computer.

Keeping your body weight down requires commitment and change. Walking for wellness is easy to take part in and can be fun when you go along with some like-minded people.

Written by Jane Sandwood