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Things That Make You Go Hmmm . . . .

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  1. Katie says:

    At least part of the reason is that the the definition of “overweight” has changed during that period (here’s one article I found through cursory googling, but I seem to remember that in the late ’80s the definition of “overweight” was changed from a BMI of 27 to a BMI of 25.

    I don’t have it handy, so I can’t check, but I seem to recall that this book by a NYT science writer (take of that what you will in terms of reliability) said the average weight gain has been something on the order of around 11 lbs per person, but that it’s disproportionately much higher among people who were already at the high end of the weight range, for whatever reason. You might also see cumulative societal weight gain as medications like anti-depressants, which also cause weight gain as a side effect, become more widespread. And if people really are exercising more, muscle weighs more than fat, so an increase in BMI doesn’t necessarily correlate to increase in body fat.

    Those are just some thoughts from an interested layperson.