03 July 2004

Fat, dumb and ugly

When Peter Strupp, a Boston office worker, decided to collate statistics
relating to his fellow Americans, he gathered them under three headings - fat,
dumb and ugly. He says he could have created a similar volume entitled Thin,
Smart and Beautiful, but that that title "hasn't been my experience". Below are some of the figures he uncovered.

Number of Americans who are considered obese: 60 million

Amount spent by Americans every year trying to lose weight: $30bn (£16.5bn)

Average lifetime ice cream consumption by Americans: 1 tonne

Average number of Americans killed annually by vending machines falling on
them: 13

Amount of food suitable for human consumption wasted annually in the United
States: 48,000,000 tonnes

Percentage of Americans who believe that the theory of human evolution
is "probably" or "definitely" not true: 47

Average number of words in the written vocabulary of a six- to 14-year-old
American child in 1945: 25,000

Average number of words in the written vocabulary of a six- to 14-year-old
American child today: 10,000

Percentage of American adults who understand that the earth orbits the sun
yearly: 48

Percentage of Americans in favour of censoring news reports about antiwar
protests: 40

Percentage of Americans who think they will be famous for at least a short
period of time: 30

Amount Americans spend annually on Christmas presents: $194bn

Average number of pink lawn flamingoes sold annually in America: 250,000

Percentage of Americans who describe "barbecue" as the aroma that best defines
America: 39

Percentage of the world's rubbish produced by the United States: 19

Percentage of who believe we didn't actually go to the moon: 20

Amount of water used in daily showering by an average American family of three:
140-180 gallons

Percentage of American households with one or more cars: 89

Time spent by an average American watching television commercials during his
lifetime: one year

Number of bald men in the United States: 40 million

Annual expenditure on wigs and toupees in the United States: $400m

Percentage of American adults who say they have undergone cosmetic surgery: 70

Percentage increase in cosmetic surgeries since 1990: 200

(Nicked from the Guardian.)

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