Datar and Nicosia are following these military families over time, and hope to have specific data on the weight changes of participants starting from when they began living in their current counties in the near future.
But their findings so far don’t only apply to military families.
“Our data suggests that the rate of overweight or obesity in military families is close to that in the civilian population,” Datar says. “Moreover, a growing proportion of military families live outside the installation in civilian communities, and their children largely attend public schools. Therefore, we think that our findings can also shed light on risk factors for obesity in the general population.”
Obesity comes with health risks like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and heart disease — the leading cause of death in American adults. Combining regular exercise with a healthy diet is your best bet to getting yourself down to a healthy weight. Starting small can help — like taking the stairs more often instead of the elevator — and really try focusing on finding a routine that works for you, otherwise you’ll be less likely to keep it up.