A study recently published by the University”s Institute for Social Research found a correlation between two of Americans” obsessions losing weight and making money.

“There is an income and education connection. Those with a college education are less likely to be overweight at a given age. The lifetime point where most put on weight is age 30 to 40,” said Frank Stafford, a senior ISR research scientist.

The study essentially showed that losing weight is no easier than getting rich.

“A lot of people think that both things are hard, when it really only takes motivation. This correlation doesn”t really surprise me,” said LSA freshman Megan Masciasz. “Between the ages of 30 to 40, people are getting married and having children. They”re also becoming comfortable with their lifestyle and I think that makes them less concerned with their appearance.”

For 13 years, ISR researchers followed 10,000 Americans to examine fluctuations in their weight. Considering the factors of gender, age and race, the results showed that American adults generally maintained a constant weight.

The study showed that roughly 51 percent of adult men in the average ranges of body mass index weighing 175 pounds at a height of 5″10″ in 1986 weighed the same amount in 1999. Twenty-seven percent had gained a significant amount of weight, while 21 percent lost a significant amount.

The results for women were similar. Fifty-five percent of women in the average BMI weighing 150 pounds at a height of 5″5″ stayed within their original weight group.

Twenty-eight percent of women surveyed gained weight, while 17 percent lost weight. Overall, women were more likely to lose weight during the course of the study than men.

“For the majority of adults I know, this study seems to be wrong. Most adults become discouraged to stay thin as they grow older when their metabolisms slow down,” Masciasz said.

“Our analysis confirms anecdotal accounts that there is substantial weight mobility the yo-yo diet effect over the adult life course,” Stafford said.

Differences in healthy BMIs among races were also included in the report. For blacks, it is more dangerous to be underweight than it is for whites. ISR has not yet looked into the causes of this and Stafford said that more biomedical and socio-behavioral research is still needed.

Researchers also found that the U.S. population is slowly becoming more overweight.

“It”s no surprise that our country is experiencing a weight drift. The culture in America fosters the tendency to be obese. People”s lives are getting more fast-paced and hectic,” said Kate Grogh, an LSA freshman.

The other focus of the report was the relation between the body weight of children with their parents, but more importantly, with their grandmothers.

“We haven”t looked at any reasons for the connections between BMIs of children and their grandmothers. There must be a link, but we looked at grandmothers arbitrarily. We didn”t do any research on grandfathers,” said Katherine McGonagle, a senior research scientist.

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