A new study published by BYU exercise science researchers reveals important and rare data detailing the seriousness of the obesity epidemic in the United States.
Article published in Obesity JournalInvestigated long-term weight gain in more than 13,800 US adults-rare data points unearthed in obesity studies. They found that more than half of the American adults who participated in the study gained more than 5% of their weight in 10 years. In addition, more than one-third of American adults gained more than 10% of their weight, and nearly one-fifth gained more than 20%.
“The epidemic of obesity in the United States has not slowed,” said Larry Tucker, a professor of exercise science at BYU, the lead author of the study. “Undoubtedly, 10 years of weight gain is a serious problem in the US adult population.”
Survey participants were randomly selected as part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, an annual survey of representative samples nationwide. NHANES is a CDC-sponsored series of studies that began in the early 1960s and became an ongoing program in 1999.
Using NHANES data, in this study, 10-year weight gain was significantly greater in women than in men, women gained about twice as much, and women averaged 6 pounds for men. It turned out to be 12 pounds. Weight gain also varies by race, with black women experiencing the highest average weight gain (19.4 pounds) in 10 years and Asian men experiencing the lowest (2.9 pounds).
As far as age is concerned, the greatest increase in body weight was seen in young and middle-aged adults. As you get older, you don’t gain weight. According to the data, on average Americans get the following weights:
- £ 17.6 between 20s and 30s
- £ 14.3 between 30s and 40s
- £ 9.5 between 40s and 50s
- £ 4.6 between 50s and 60s
When an adult gains an average weight during each of the 10 years of adulthood, he or she gains more than 45 pounds, many of which fall into the obesity category. According to the Department of Health and Human Services and the CDC, 42.4% of adults in the United States are currently obese. This is a significant increase from the 30.5% measured in 2000.
“In about 20 years, the prevalence of obesity has increased by about 40% and severe obesity has almost doubled,” Tucker said. “Knowing who is likely to become obese can help healthcare providers and public health authorities focus more on individuals at risk.”