Well-Being Longevity

Here’s when adults gain the most weight: study

cdc centers for disease control and prevention obesity 2017-2018 america us adults
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  • Another third gained more than 10 percent. 

  • “The U.S. obesity epidemic is not slowing down,” the study’s author said.

American adults gain the most weight between their 20’s and 30’s, according to a recently published study tracking adults across ten years.  

The study, published in the Journal of Obesity, found that more than half of adult participants gained five percent or more over a ten-year period. Another third gained more than 10 percent.  

For the study, researchers analyzed data from more than 13,800 randomly selected participants from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. 

Adults gained an average of 17.6 pounds between their 20s and 30’s, while the average weight gain for a person between their 30s and 40’s fell to 14.3 pounds. 

They also found that women on average gained more weight than men over the study period. Women put on an average of 12 pounds compared to six pounds for men. 

“The U.S. obesity epidemic is not slowing down,” said study lead author Larry Tucker, a BYU professor of exercise science. “Without question, 10-year weight gain is a serious problem within the U.S. adult population.” 


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Researchers concluded if adults gained the average amount of weight over each decade of their lives, they would put on an average of more than 45 pounds.  

“In roughly 20 years, the prevalence of obesity increased by approximately 40% and severe obesity almost doubled,” Tucker said. “By knowing who is more likely to become obese, we can help health care providers and public health officials focus more on at-risk individuals.” 

The World Obesity Atlas, released in March, projected one billion people across the globe will be living with obesity by 2030.  

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