Patterns of Body Weight in Middle-Aged and Older Americans by Gender and Race, 1993-2000

TitlePatterns of Body Weight in Middle-Aged and Older Americans by Gender and Race, 1993-2000
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2003
AuthorsJenkins, KRahrig, Fultz, NH, Fonda, SJ, Wray, LA
JournalSocial and Preventative Medicine
KeywordsDemographics, Health Conditions and Status

Objectives: Despite evidence of poor health outcomes associated with excessive weight gain or loss, longitudinal patterns of body weight over the adult life course have not been fully described. This article seeks to address this by examining body weight patterns for middle-aged and older adults.Methods: Panel data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) original cohort and the original cohort of the Asset and Health Dynamics Among the Oldest Old (AHEAD) study are used to compare, by social group, characteristics of respondents and non-respondents, baseline weight (1993 and 1994) to year 2000 weight, and explore various weight change trajectories over time.Results: Overall, a greater proportion of middle-aged adults are heavier over time than at baseline and a greater proportion of older adults lose weight over time compared to baseline. Examining the transitions across weight trajectories for all of the social groups suggests considerable variability.Con clusions: These findings suggest that differing physiologic and social or environmental experiences may have implications for body weight patterns. Understanding these patterns by race/ethnicity and gender could provide insight into health disparities among different social groups.

Endnote Keywords

United States/Obesity/Body Mass Index/Adults

Endnote ID


Citation Key6869