Americans play less, watch more

&to=' target=_blank>Americans, grappling with obesity and bombarded by weight loss ads, are playing fewer sports but watching more, according a report released Wednesday.

Participation in almost every recreational sport, from golf and tennis to bowling and snow skiing, was down in 2004, while attendance at professional sporting events was up.

Television viewing also increased, continuing an eight-year trend.

Those and many other facts were included in this year's Statistical Abstract, a 1,023-page book of numbers quantifying just about every aspect of American life.

The Census Bureau assembles the statistics from a myriad of government and private sources, so researchers, academics and businesses can find them in one place.

"It reflects the changing nature of the country," said Lars Johanson, a statistician at the Census Bureau.

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