How does the average person’s weight change over time? New research from Brigham Young University provides fascinating insights.
In a study of 13,800 Americans, the scientists report that over 50 percent of participants gained at least 5 percent in body weight during the previous 10 years.
(Thirty-five percent gained 10 percent or more, and 16 percent gained 20 percent or more.)
You might be thinking, ‘That’s not so fascinating.”
And you’d be correct: What’s fascinating is when people gained the weight.
On average, participants gained the most weight from their 20s to their 30s, and then less in each subsequent decade thereafter.
Do the math, and for the average American, that comes out to a total weight gain of 46.7 pounds (21.2 kg) over the course of adulthood.
Why do people gain more weight when they’re younger?
The researchers say it’s likely because your metabolism increases when you gain weight. (Larger bodies require more energy to operate than smaller bodies.)
As a result, you’d have to increase your food intake (and/or decrease your activity levels) in every subsequent decade to continue gaining weight at the same rate. (Over time, people tend to “settle in” and habitually consume the same amount.)
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Tucker LA, Parker K. 10-Year Weight Gain in 13,802 US Adults: The Role of Age, Sex, and Race. J Obes. 2022 May 6;2022:7652408.
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