In a 2014 article in the “Journal of the American College of Cardiology”, Dr Andrew A. Weil of the Cleveland Clinic reported that about 0.7% of Americans have gained weight in the past year. The average weight-gain for a single adult is about three pounds (1.3 kg) each year.
Many studies have concluded that rapid weight loss is a common phenomenon in people with anorexia nervosa, but others have not. These include a 2010 European study that found that 6.4% of Americans were classified as being “fast-eaters” during the previous year for a year or more — meaning they reported eating at least four meals per day, but only three of them were full-calorie. The rest were snack meals. In a 2009 study, researchers conducted a nationwide survey and found that nearly 30% of women were classified as being “fast-eaters” for more than one year. The study does not distinguish between women who eat at least the recommended daily range of 2,000-2,300 calories, as well as those who ate more than that number.
The researchers also found that nearly 50% of young and middle-aged women were classified as “fast-eaters” for more than one year — the average age at first symptoms was about 21 years old. The average number of meals consumed per day during the past year was also significantly higher with the fast-eaters: 8.3 versus 5.6 for “normal” women.
There’s also evidence that eating two or more meals per day increases the risk of weight gain. Eating two or more meals per day resulted in an approximate 4.5-fold greater chance of gaining weight, and an estimated 4 percent increased risk of obesity. Eating three meals per day and maintaining these calories resulted in about a 4.6-fold increase, and about 1 percent increased risk of obesity. When researchers measured waist circumference of fast-eaters and normal-weight adults, they found that fast-eaters had a waist circumference of 23.4 inches (71 cm) compared with 18.5 inches (52 cm) for normal-weight people.
In an earlier study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2009, researchers found that the average meal size in the United States was much larger than the recommendations. In the study, published in February 2002, researchers found that the average American diet consisted of 6,600 to 13,400 calories compared with the recommended 8,600.
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