The trend of increasing weight may be slowing down in most English adults, new research suggests.
Research published by the University of Manchester suggests that two thirds of women and three quarters of men may be resistant to further rises in BMI.
Using the BMI data of 164,166 adults collected between 1992 and 2010, the researchers discovered that men and women with high BMIs started gaining weight in early and middle adulthood, with falls in later life.
However, in the group of people with a normal Body Mass Index (BMI), their weight increased slowly and steadily throughout early and middle adulthood.
The researchers said this shows that the normal-BMI group may be ‘offsetting’ the increases experienced by the high-BMI group, who are getting fatter.
Lead author Professor Renehan from the University of Manchester, said: “The findings support the need for smarter targeting of policies to tackle the determinants of obesity.”
Professor Iain Buchan, Professor of Public Health Informatics at the University of Manchester, said: “This research shows the importance of health surveys and their detailed analysis – previous projections of rising obesity have made bold assumptions rather than listening to the data.
“Despite the slowing down in the rise of excess weight, there is no room for complacency as society still has to deal with the cumulative consequences of the obesity epidemic – affecting a minority of people more than others, but still everybody’s problem in finding a sustainable solution.”