OVER ONE-THIRD OF ADULTS IN THE USA gained at least ten pounds over the last ten years. That is the finding recently reported in the Journal of Obesity.
Healthy weight maintenance is important to optimize our health. Maintaining a healthy weight can lower your risk of many cancer types, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
The Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health Letter reminds us that your weight, waist size, and weight gain since your mid-20s greatly influence your health, helping to determine your chances of developing any of these conditions:
- Cardiovascular disease, heart attack, stroke
- Sleep apnea
American weight gain is on the rise
Brigham Young University (USA) researchers recently examined weight gain patterns among nearly 14,000 adults from 2011 to 2018. THe COVID-19 pandemic interfered with the ability to get 2019 to 2020 information.
Here are the disturbing findings:
The average 10-year weight gain was 4.2 kilograms (9.2 pounds), or nearly seven percent of initial body weight.
Getting more granular, we find that one-half of subjects gained at least five percent of body weight, over one-third put on at least ten pounds, and 16 percent gained at least 20 percent over a ten years.
Looking by sex, the 10-year weight gain appeared significantly greater among women (5.4 kilograms) versus men (2.6 kilograms). And by race? Non-Hispanic Blacks gained the most weight, while Asians gained the least amount.
American weight gain: My take
Ten-year weight gain is a serious health problem for American adults. So what’s the root cause of weight gain? In general, potential contributing factors include:
- Genes. Some are genetically predisposed to gain weight more easily. Nevertheless, genes are not destiny: Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can prevent the genetic predisposition to obesity. I limit my sugar-sweetened beverages.
- Move. Physical activity can lower the risks of some cancer types, heart disease, and other chronic diseases. Movement can advance weight control, too.
- Sleep. In general, those who get too little sleep tend to weigh more than those who get adequate sleep.