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Artist compares men's bodies by nation

16:00 Fri Oct 4 2013
Kimberly Gillan
Courtesy: Nickolay Lamm

Ever wondered what the average man's body looks like?

An American artist has created computer-generated images based on different countries' average male body shapes to show how they compare.

Pittsburgh artist Nickolay Lamm used the average body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference from America, Japan, the Netherlands and France to show what men in those countries generally look like.

With an average BMI of 29 — one point away from being obese — and an average waist circumference of 99.4cm, the US men were the fattest in Lamm's Body Measurement Project.

The Dutch men were the tallest, with an average height of 183.3cm, while the Japanese had the healthiest BMI ranking of 23.7 — the only country whose average male BMI was in the healthy range.

The French men averaged 174.4cm tall with a BMI of 25.55, which is just outside of the healthy weight range.

A healthy BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9 in young and middle aged adults. Older adults can have a higher BMI but still be healthy.

Calculate your BMI here

BMI is a ranking given to somebody based on their weight in relation to their height. It is controversial in health circles, as muscular athletes can rank as unhealthy because of their weight.

Many experts argue that waist circumference is a better measure because fat carried around the middle is toxic.

"For men, ideally you want to be below 94cm and for women it is 80cm," Associate Professor Tim Crowe, from the Deakin University School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, told MSN.

"Waist circumference is such a wonderful measurement because it's not how fat you are, it's where the fat is that drives most of your risk for diabetes, heart disease and cancer. It's the fat around the middle that is the biggest problem."

Lamm got his data from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention in the US, the Jikei University School of Medicine, National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, and the European Neural Network Society.

Matthew Reed from the Michigan Transportation Research Institute verified Lamm's data.