Menu Close

Sex Differences in Adult Outcomes by Changes in Weight Status from Adolescence to Adulthood: Results from Add Health


Chung, Arlene E.; Skinner, Asheley C.; Maslow, Gary R.; Halpern, Carolyn Tucker; & Perrin, Eliana M. (2014). Sex Differences in Adult Outcomes by Changes in Weight Status from Adolescence to Adulthood: Results from Add Health. Academic Pediatrics, 14(5), 448-455.


OBJECTIVE: Changes in weight status from adolescence to adulthood may be associated with varying social, vocational, economic, and educational outcomes, which may differ by sex. We studied whether there are differences in adult outcomes by sex for different weight status changes in the transition to adulthood.
METHODS: Using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, participants were categorized by weight status from adolescence into adulthood. We examined self-reported outcomes in adulthood for living with parents, being married, being a parent, employment, receipt of public assistance, income, and college graduation by weight groupings (healthy-healthy, healthy-overweight/obese, overweight/obese-overweight/obese, overweight/obese-healthy). The effect of changes in weight status on the adult outcomes was modeled, controlling for sex, age, parental education, and race/ethnicity.
RESULTS: There were differences by sex for many of the self-reported outcomes, especially educational and economic outcomes. Female subjects who became overweight/obese between adolescence and adulthood or remained so had worse economic and educational findings as adults compared to male subjects.
CONCLUSIONS: Overall, for female subjects, becoming and remaining overweight/obese was associated with worse outcomes, while for male subjects, adolescent obesity was more important than isolated adult obesity. The relationship between obesity and life situations may be more negative for female subjects in the transition to adulthood. The findings emphasize that adolescent obesity, and not just obesity isolated in adulthood, is important for characteristics achieved in adulthood.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Academic Pediatrics


Chung, Arlene E.
Skinner, Asheley C.
Maslow, Gary R.
Halpern, Carolyn Tucker
Perrin, Eliana M.