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Will You Gain Weight in Retirement?

Probably Not More Than If You Were Still Working, Study Shows
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Oct. 19, 2005 -- Retirement appears to have little effect on weight gain, according to a new study.

Researchers tracked more than 3,000 people for 12 years. Participants were 45-64 years old when the study started.

Every three years, participants were weighed during clinic visits. They were also asked if they had retired since their last visit.

Everyone gained a little weight each year (less than a pound), but weight gain didn't pick up after retirement. Age, race, smoking, physical activity, and BMI (body mass index) were taken into account.

Women in Retirement

Women who reported retiring for health reasons were the only exception. They gained about 2 pounds a year after retirement, compared to 1 yearly pound before retirement.

The researchers included Denise Houston, PhD, RD, of Wake Forest University's medical school.

The results were presented in Vancouver, Canada at the annual scientific meeting of the North American Association for the Study of Obesity.

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