Young adults, beware! According to a newly published study, you’re more likely to gain weight during your 20s than later in life.
Published in the Journal of Obesity, the research focused on the history of weight gain of about 13,800 adults and identified the most critical factors behind it — namely, age, sex, and race.
The participants gained most of their excess weight in their twenties and early thirties, some 17lbs on average. Moreover, women gained weight twice as fast as their male counterparts.
Experts say that early-adulthood challenges like work, family, and financial worries are largely to blame for this. The preoccupation with these obligations prevents young adults from physical exercise and making healthy life choices. Poor sleep hygiene is also a major cause of obesity, studies show.
As for the disproportionate weight gain when it comes to women, pregnancy is the most common factor. Even so, that doesn’t fully explain the study’s results, where women gained an additional 12lbs for every decade of their lives.
Data revealed that race also influenced weight gain. For instance, Non-Hispanic Asians had the smallest weight gain, whereas Non-Hispanic Blacks, especially females, were more likely to gain weight.
What’s more, almost half of the participants gained between 5% and 10% of body weight during their study years (2011–2018); another third gained 10% body weight, and about 3 in 20 students (16%) increased their weight by over 20% over the same period.
Statistics also show that as little as 10% of Americans eat enough veggies and fruits for optimal health. Hence, it’s no wonder obesity is slowly replacing smoking as the leading cause of premature death. Currently, about 41% of adult Americans are overweight, and some 10% are severely obese.