The Day You’ll Start to Gain Weight (If You’re Not Careful)

Data Studies
September 22, 2016

We looked at the data of 65,000 users of connected scales and found out that there is a day in September when most people in the U.S. start gaining weight. But good news — we also found out what the people who don’t gain have in common, and how you can use their tricks to help you not fall into this fall trap. Read on for all the details.

Weight varies over the course of the year. The average person loses weight during the summer. But, according to our research, by fall, they start re-gaining weight. This weight gain reaches a peak in December and January, when it’s cold and they are celebrating year-end festivities.

As you can see from the graph above, in the US, the lowest weight is reached at September 23rd, and then the line starts going up.

Is this fall weight gain inevitable?

It seems for many people, fall is a time they fall off the wagon when it comes to watching their weight. But since 1 out of 3 people succeed in maintaining their weight after September 23rd, we wanted to know more about what makes them so special. How to they avoid slippery slope of weight gain? We found out that people who successfully maintained their weight had some unique traits when compared to the people who gained weight. Maintainers:

  • Weigh themselves 40% more often than the others.
  • Are 23% more active.
  • 78% of them fixed a target weight.

Since these seem to be the 3 keys to maintaining a summer shape, while also avoiding the dreaded holiday slide — take heed, and try to follow their lead!

Study methodology

This study was conducted by Withings based on anonymous data from a pool of more than 65,000 users of Withings scales in the US. All the weight data used in the study are measurement data pushed automatically and in real-time by the scales onto the Withings cloud platforms. The representativity of the study population was established by comparing its body mass index (BMI) distribution with that of the Global Health Observatory (GHO) 2014 data, by country. According to the GHO, the rate of people with a BMI equal to or higher than 25 – overweight or obese people – in the US is of 67.3%. The same rate observed in our study population. A part of this study, based on a smaller sample, has been published and presented at the 38th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society in August 2016. The publication can be found here. Withings guarantees the confidentiality of personal data and protects the privacy of all its users. Therefore, all data used in this study is anonymized and aggregate data.