U.S. adults aren't getting taller, but still putting on pounds

NEW YORK (AP) — You don't need to hang the mistletoe higher but you might want to skip the holiday cookies.

A new report released Thursday shows U.S. adults aren't getting any taller but they are still getting fatter.

The average U.S. adult is overweight and just a few pounds from obese, thanks to average weight increases in all groups — but particularly whites and Hispanics.

Overall, the average height for men actually fell very slightly over the past decade. There was no change for women.

One factor may be the shift in the country's population. There's a growing number of Mexican-Americans, and that group tends to be a little shorter, said one of the report's authors, Cynthia Ogden of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The findings come from a 2015-16 health survey that measures height and weight. More than 5,000 U.S. adults took part.

CDC records date back to the early 1960s, when the average man was a little over 5 feet, 8 inches tall and weighed 166 pounds. Now, men are almost 1 inch taller and more than 30 pounds heavier. But today's average height of 5 feet, 9 inches is about a tenth of an inch shorter than about a decade ago.

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15 PHOTOS
Health Rankings: Bottom 15 states
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Health Rankings: Bottom 15 states

36. Florida

Overall score: -0.307

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37. Missouri

Overall score: -0.338

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38. New Mexico

Overall score: -0.363

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39. Indiana

Overall score: -0.372

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40. Ohio

Overall score: -0.391

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41. Georgia

Overall score: -0.464

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42. South Carolina

Overall score: -0.531

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43. West Virginia

Overall score: -0.595

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44. Tennessee

Overall score: -0.626

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45. Kentucky

Overall score: -0.651

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46. Oklahoma

Overall score: -0.691

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47. Alabama

Overall score: -0.793

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48. Arkansas

Overall score: -0.834

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49. Louisiana

Overall score: -1.043

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50. Mississippi

Overall score: -1.123

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The average woman in the early 1960s was 5 feet, 3 inches and 140 pounds. Now, women are a half-inch taller and about 30 pounds heavier, on average. The average height is about the same as it was a decade earlier: 5 feet, 4 inches.

Other survey findings:

—In the last decade, the average weight of men rose about 2 pounds, to 198. For women, it rose 6 pounds, to nearly 171.

—Men have 40-inch waistlines, on average. Women's waistlines are a little under 39 inches.

—The average height of black men and white men has been holding about steady, at a little under 5 feet 10.

—Mexican-American and Asian-American men are roughly 3 inches shorter than whites and blacks, on average. There was a similar height gap in women.

In 2016, about 18 percent of the nation's population was Hispanic, up from about 13 percent in 2000, according to U.S. Census figures. Mexican-Americans account for nearly two-thirds of the Hispanic population.

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15 PHOTOS
Health Rankings: Top 15 states
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Health Rankings: Top 15 states

15. Idaho

Overall score: 0.356

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14. Rhode Island

Overall score: 0.422

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13. New York

Overall score: 0.430

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12. Nebraska

Overall score: 0.432

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11. North Dakota

Overall score: 0.473

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10. Colorado

Overall score: 0.559

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9. New Jersey

Overall score: 0.571

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8. Utah

Overall score: 0.578

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7. Washington

Overall score: 0.582

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6. New Hampshire

Overall score: 0.696

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5. Vermont

Overall score: 0.709

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4. Minnesota

Overall score: 0.727

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3. Connecticut

Overall score: 0.747

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2. Massachusetts

Overall score: 0.760

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1. Hawaii

Overall score: 0.905

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The Associated Press Health & Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

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