The average Mexican man weighs 165 pounds and stands 5 feet 4 1/2 inches tall, while the median figures for Mexican women are 151 pounds and 5 feet 2 inches, according to a study released by a group representing Mexico's clothing industry.

The study entitled "How big is Mexico? Size does matter," was released by Conaive, with data gathered from 17,364 adults.

According to the leaders of the business organization, Mexico is the first Latin American country to carry out a study of the average weight and height of its population.

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They said that to conduct the analysis, which was completed with the support of the Mexican economy ministry, a statistically valid sample of the population was taken by the National Geography and Computing Institute in four areas of the country.

Just over 49 percent of the 17,364 people measured were men and the rest were women. It took researchers 20 minutes to take the various measurements for each person and the fieldwork was performed from Oct. 19, 2010, through June 15, 2011.

The study found that among women 18-25 the average weight was 139 pounds while men in that age group averaged 155 pounds. The average height for young women was 5 feet 2 inches versus 5 feet 5 inches for young men.

The heaviest group of men, on average, were in the 40-50 age range, with an average of 170 pounds, while women of that age group were also the heaviest, averaging 159 pounds.

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The figures released on Wednesday do not include data from other countries, but if these averages are compared with Mexico's northern neighbor, Mexicans are shorter than Americans and they weigh about 22 pounds less, on average.

According to official figures released in 2008, the average American male over age 20 stands 5 feet 7 inches and weighs 195 pounds kilos, while the average women in the neighboring country is 5 feet 3 inches tall and weighs 165 pounds.

But, curiously, according to the same data, Americans of Mexican origin weigh more than their relatives back home.

Among women standing 5 feet 2 inches tall in both countries, Mexican-Americans weighed an average of 162 pounds - 11 pounds more than their counterparts south of the border.

And among men, although Mexican-Americans are an average of 2 inches taller, they weigh 181 pounds, on average, 15 pounds more than Mexicans in their home country.

Upon presenting the study, Conaive president Marcos Cherem said that it will allow the health authorities to determine the prevalence of obesity among Mexicans.

He also said that it will contribute toward fostering among the public a culture of prevention regarding becoming overweight.

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