Americans are Under-tall

The average BMI, (Body Mass Index) in the US in 1960 was 25. Which is almost normal. The average BMI in 2002 was 28. Which is clearly overweight, nearly obese and obviously headed in the wrong direction. Efforts to reverse the trend have, so far, been largely, some would say hugely, futile.

I believe success has eluded us because we are trying the wrong approach. To return to the 1960 BMI average we could lower our weight by an average of 12% or we could increase our height by 6%.

By setting a modest growth target of 2% more height per year we could achieve this goal in less than three years. After that you would just have to grow enough to keep up with the rate of inflation ­ so to speak

For years these numbers have been telling us we needed to be taller, but we just didnšt put it together until now. As a nation we have been growing, but in the wrong direction.

This approach can work for the individual too. Suppose when you were 20 you were 6 feet tall and weighed 170 pounds. That would have been a BMI of 23.1, normal. Now suppose you weigh 250 pounds with the same height you would have a BMI of 33.9, obese. Hardly dignified. But lets see what height addition could do for you. Growing just 12 inches would bring you back into the normal range and just another 4 inches would bring you back to your youthful BMI at 20, without having to lose a pound! Not to mention the fact that, at 6 foot 16, you are likely to attract some attention in the NBA.

Of course, like any other new system, there are drawbacks. You should be alert to the possibility of unwanted stretch marks.

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