From the NYTimes:
“People tend to overreport their height and underreport their weight,” said the senior author, Cynthia L. Ogden, an epidemiologist at the C.D.C. The new figures, she noted, are the result of actual measurements:
Meet the average American man. He weighs 198 pounds and stands 5 feet 9 inches tall. He has a 40-inch waist, and his body mass index is 29, at the high end of the “overweight” category.
The picture for the average woman? She is roughly 5 feet 4 inches tall, and weighs 171 pounds, with a 39-inch waist. Her B.M.I. is close to 30."
Men and women gained more than 30 pounds from 1960 to 2016.
According to recent longevity studies, the ideal BMI is closer to 20. The countries with the world's oldest populations are Japan, followed by Germany, Italy, Greece, Finland, and Sweden.
Long-lived Okinawans subscribe to the nutritional behavior of “hara haci bu” or “eat until you are only 80% full.” Their “rainbow diet” is based on diverse fruits and vegetables, with soy providing the bulk of protein intake. Their daily caloric intake is reduced, accounting for their low BMI of 20.
Interventions that promote longevity, remembered by mnemonic: DEEP purple - “eat colorful plant foods: Dietary modification, Exercise, active Engagement, Purposeful living (click here to enlarge the image).