Women sizes: British,
USA, Canadian and Mexican, The age group with the best memory
Q: What is considered to be the average size woman in
the UK? Someone, England
Photo courtesy of ilovebeeing.com
According to the Department for Trade and Industry, the average UK woman is 5'
3.8" (162 centimeters) tall and weighs 147 pounds (66.7 kilograms). This
corresponds to a Body Mass Index of 25.2 kilograms/meters≤, which is slightly
less than the average British man's, and less than the average American
average UK woman is tall enough for an astronaut (minimum height, 4' 10.5) but
falls short of the average Miss Universe winner (5' 11) and is about the same
height as the shortest king (Charles I, 5' 4).
way, the average UK male stands 5' 9.5 tall and weighs 176 pounds, with a Body Mass Index of 26.0 kg/m≤.
Q: Would you please update your 2002
American woman size article? What is the average size now?
Perhaps you could consider answering the question for North America?
Laura, Toronto, Canada
Photo courtesy of ilovebeeing.com
A: My Canadian cousin, George, would slaughter me for not including
Canadians in the 'American' answer. I really should include South and
Central America, too, but you have kindly restricted it to North America.
That leaves only Mexico to go.
USA: The average American woman's weight has increased 11 pounds (7
%) in the 10 years between the gathering of statistics, while her height has
remained about the same. Earlier
I had reported a weight of 152 pounds (69 kg)
and height 5' 3.7" (162 cm). Now, it's 163 pounds (74 kg) and 5' 3.8" (162
Men have have also increased their
weight by an average of 10 pounds (6 %), from 180 to 190 pounds, while remaining
essentially the same height: 5' 9".
The USA results are from the National Center for Health Statistics, based on two
studies: NHANES III (1988 - 94) and, the most recent available, HANES
(1999 - 2000).
Canada: The average Canadian woman's
weight is 153 pounds (69.4 kg) and height is 5' 3.4" (161 cm). Her male counterpart weighs
182 pounds (82.7 kg), and is 5' 8.5" (174 cm) tall.
Heather Orpana of
Statistics Canada was kind to provide these statistics based on the 2005
Canadian Community Health Survey 3.1.
Mexico: Military data (1956 for males and 1932 for females)
height findings: average Mexican males are 5' 5" (166 cm) tall
and females are 5' 2" (150 cm) tall. I was unable to find national
The tables below summarize the information.
|1988 - 1994
|1999 - 2002
|1932 & 1956
Update (Jan. 20, 2007):
Q: Why is the most recent data on the average weights of Americans so
outdated, when Canada's information is current to 2005? Is the data available
via a different location or is just not available to the public?
Ezell, San Antonio, Texas
A: The USA government schedules its comprehensive tests (HANES studies) about five years
I asked USA Public Affairs Specialist Mary Jones of the National Center for
Disease Control when data from the next study will be available. "It
is in the collection stage; we don't have a release date as yet, maybe some time
next year," she said.
The Canadians collect their data "every two years," says statistician Heather
Orpana of Statistics Canada in Ottawa. "We will have another survey in the
field in 2007/2008, which will also be collecting measured height and weight
measurements, National Center for Health Statistics
female size, WonderQuest
An anthropometric approach to the measurement of living standards (Mexico) by
Moramay Lůpez-Alonsa, Stanford University
The Question of the Month: readers contribute answers
Follow up: Before getting to this month's question, first a
follow up to last month's question on twitching lizards' tails: "With
reference to the shedding of a tail that continues to twitch, there is a
luminous marine annelid [a worm] that sheds luminous scales and swims away,
presumably a way to cause a predator to eat scales instead of the animal
Woodland Hastings, of Harvard University
This month's question:
What age group has the best memory? (Earl, Rockledge, Florida)
Photo courtesy of Akkia and Wikipedia.
A: The basic answer is middle age. But, different kinds of memory abound ó from remembering
when Kennedy was shot to remembering to remember your next dental appointment.
Perhaps the most useful memory is the one closely tied to thinking abilities.
It's called working memory, and allows us to focus on a task (like, paying
attention to traffic) when distracted by irrelevant information coming in (a
friend's conversation). Having a good working memory is strongly related
to complex thinking tasks, such as, comprehending what we read, solving problems
or learning a new language.
The age at which our working memory peaks is 45, according to psychologist
H. Lee Swanson of University of California, Riverside. After
examining 778 people, ranging in age from six to 76, he found working memory got
better as children got older, reaching peak level at age 45, then steadily
declining. Moreover, the reason working memory declined is, "as we get
older, we run out of places to put new information." It's a storage
problem, "not related to our reading or math abilities," Swanson says.
Moving on to another type of memory (semantic): the ability to remember
words, their meaning and general facts, such as, 'Paris is the capitol of
France.' Over a ten-year period, the Swedish based Betula Project looked
at folks in ten age groups from 35 to 80 years old. "The middle-aged
adults [35 to 50] performed at the highest level," reported the project.
Even better, "no age-related deficits were observed before 75 years of age."
Indeed, how well we're educated appears to be a more important factor than our
age in how well we can remember words and facts.
How about remembering to remember? We retain the ability to remember
such things as an upcoming appointment as age advances. People from 61 to
70 years remembered such things as well as those from 18 to 30 years. Such
memory "started to decline only in those participants who were in their 70s,"
wrote psycholgist L. Kvavilashvili of the University of Herfordshire in England.
"It's a poor sort of memory that
only works backwards," Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll.
develops in working memory? A life Span Perspective by H. Lee Swanson,
University of California, Riverside
Semantic memory functioning across the adult life span, Betula Project
Mechanisms of Prospective Memory and Aging by Lia Kvavilashvili,
University of Hertfordshire, England
Readers' Answers (a monthly contribution by readers,
published on the first Tuesday of the month):
- Older people have the best memory. As far as age groups go, I'd say 50 to
60. But, I could be wrong.....I don't remember...
Americus, Georgia, USA
What was the question
Dave Martill (Age 50),
Portsmouth, United Kingdom
I believe 28 year olds have the best memory
because my mom can remember stuff from when I was only 1 year old and I can't
even remember stuff from a month ago! (I am 6 years old now).
Kobie, Longmon, Colorado
I think people in their 30s have the best memory. I myself am only 14
and I do forget lot. My cousins, who are younger than me, forget a lot, and their
parents often remind them to do something if they forget. My siblings are all
older than me (20, 21 and 24). I notice they are often busy with work and
school, and they get confused and forget. My father and mother are both
about 50, and are often forgetting what time I finish school even though I have
the same schedule every week. People in their 20s have so much going on
they get lost sometimes. Teenagers are busy
having a social life, and some are quite lazy, and forget to do homework. Kids have to be reminded by their parents, because
they are playful and still learning. People in their 30s are more
settled. This is what I have noticed in everyday life.
Ledy e. x., Brooklyn, New York
Here's a graph showing who readers thought had the best memory. Only
one (shown in red) picked the correct age of about 45 years. Most thought
children are best.
Dec. 5, 2006)