“Porky” American Men


By: Nikki Nies

With alarming statistics constantly being thrown around in the news about the obesity epidemic, the numbers can become overwhelming.  A Pittsburgh artist, Nickolay Lamm, has created a 3D visual with the help of the CDC to put into perspective the male body composition.  Above are four men representing four well known countries.  Can you guess which one is the American man? 8C9394027-131015-average-maile-body-439p.blocks_desktop_small

If you guessed the second one, you would be right! From left to right, the 3D avatars represent a man from the Netherlands, America, France and Japan.  Not only does the American avatar represent the largest beer belly, but the amount of extra “bum.” The American avatar has been described as “porkier” than his internationa friends, representing 69% of men over the age of 20 that have been classified as overweight or obese.

Lamm sees the body shape project as a “reality check” for American men. “We have the biggest cars, the biggest houses. But I’m sure we don’t want to have the biggest waistlines.”

According to the CDC, the average BMI for an American man is 28.3, which is borderline obese (BMI of >30 is considered obese).  The average Japanese man’s BMI is 23.7, from the Netherlands 25.2 and from France 25.5. A BMI from 18.5-24.5 is considered a normal weight.

Lamm has received criticism that his avatars do not represent the “average” American man as the American population has become more diverse in the last couple decades.  In actuality, the skin tone is considered “pink” and overpowers all boundaries of ethnicities.

This visual representation of the body composition of not only American men, but in relation to other world leader’s population hopefully is not passed up like so many statistics are.



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