Home General Assignment Demo Memo: We're Not Getting Older, We're Getting Wider

Demo Memo: We're Not Getting Older, We're Getting Wider

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ttt.com Editor's Note: Demo Memo depends on federally funded resources to keep its blogspot abuzz. They took a ding when those right wing nuts shut the system down. Demo Memo is now humming along. Today, we're having a little more fun with it than perhaps Ms. Russell would like us to. It's kind of a test to see if anyone's still paying attention. A lot of people got pretty stressed during the shutdown. Some even died because of it. We're not making fun of suffering, we're just having fun, which is different.

More than One Third of Americans Ain't Just Fat, They Be Super-Fat

The government shutdown didn't keep American piehole's closed. Long before the Tea Party hijacked the government it was learned that obesity has leveled off at an all-time high.

How can something that is leveling off still be so oversized? The truth is, this country needs folding chairs that fit everyone's bum.

Now that the government's open, check out the  National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which measures the height and weight of a representative sample of Americans to determine weight status.

In all, 79 million adults were obese in 2011-12, defined as having a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or higher. Obesity peaks among 40-to-59-year-olds at 39.5 percent. It is a slightly lower 30.3 percent among 20-to-39-year-olds. Among people aged 60 or older, 35.4 percent are obese.

Tiny Town Editor's Note: BMI is not necessarily the "golden mean" of body weight. For instance, it does not take in bone density and musculature. A 6'2" 230 body NFL running back may not have much body fat, but according to the current BMI, he would be considered overweight, if not morbidly obese.

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, Prevalence of Obesity among Adults: United States, 2011-2012

Why Are More Older Men Working?

The Henny Youngman answer: To get away from their wives.

The other guess: The labor force participation rate of men aged 60 to 74 climbed from 33 percent in 1993 (a post-World-War-II low) to 44 percent in 2010. You'd think it was the lack of income. But some overworked researchers concocted another idea entirely.

Most of the 11 percent rise has to do with "higher educational attainment," according to some overly educated demographers at Boston College's Center for Retirement Research. The greater educational attainment of men aged 60 to 74 accounts for most of the increase in their labor force participation over the past few decades. But if they're so smart, why are they not on welfare?

Stay tuned – and salute those Pedigreed Lions of August who greet you at the door of the local super store. They ain't stupid, they just got old!

Source: Center for Retirement Research, Can Educational Attainment Explain the Rise in Labor Force Participation at Older Ages?

From Demo Memo by Cheryl Russell  http://demomemo.blogspot.com/

Russell is a demographer and the editorial director of New Strategist Publications. She is the former editor-in-chief of American Demographics magazine (then located in Ithaca) and The Boomer Report. She is the author of Bet You Didn't Know and other books on demographic trends. She holds a master's degree in sociology/demography from Cornell University.

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Last Updated on Friday, 18 October 2013 13:43  

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