What factors influence weight gain?

The participants all completed surveys regarding dietary and activity habits and other life factors at the age of 24, and then a decade later when they were aged 34.

Across the 10-year period, the majority of participants gained weight — that’s life, I guess. Roughly one quarter of men and women managed to hold down a stable weight, and just 7.5 percent of women and 3.8 percent of men lost any weight.

Over time, women gained an average of 0.9 kilograms per year and men gained 1.0 kilogram each year.

Men who smoked tobacco were more likely to gain weight. However, women had a higher chance of gaining weight if they had given birth to two or three children, drank more sweetened drinks, or were less contented with their lives.

On the other side of the weighing scales, women were protected from weight gain by exercise, and men were less likely to put on weight if they were more highly educated and were heavier at the start of the study.

As Kärkkäinen says, “To effectively prevent weight gain, understanding the factors underlying weight management that precedes the gain, or primary weight management, is of utmost importance.”

Giving up dieting and focusing on eating in a more regular fashion seems to be the key. In some ways, this is good news for people who struggle to lose weight and keep it off.

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