Fast food

Americans are getting heavier

Data: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Americans are not getting taller, but they are gaining more weight, according to new CDC data. Since 1999, the average weight of men has increased from 189 pounds to 198 pounds. The average weight of women has gone up from 164 pounds to 171 pounds.

The bottom line: Obesity is more complicated than eating habits or exercise. But research has shown that gaining weight over time makes people more susceptible to other health risks like diabetes or heart disease.

Senior citizens are taking over fast-food jobs

Senior woman working in McDonald's fast food restaurant.
Photo: Jeffrey Greenberg/UIG via Getty Images

A number of fast-food and casual-dining restaurants around the country, like McDonald’s and Bob Evans, are actively recruiting senior citizens who employers say are more sociable and punctual than teenagers, Bloomberg reports.

“Hiring seniors is a good deal for fast-food chains. They get years of experience for the same wages—an industry median of $9.81 an hour last year, according to the BLS—they would pay someone decades younger.”
— Bloomberg's Leslie Patton

The big picture: The labor market is tight. Bloomberg, citing the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, reports that the amount of working Americans between the ages of 65 and 74 is expected to grow by 4.5% between 2014 and 2024. Meanwhile, the rate of people working between the ages of 16 and 24 is expected to plunge by 1.4%.

More stories loading.