When compared to the general population, LSAH participants showed a similar trend of rising overweight and obesity over time (1967-2003). A graph of the data showed that a smaller percentage of astronauts and comparison participants were likely to be overweight, as compared to the general population. Astronauts were the least likely of the groups studied to be overweight. Over time however, a higher percentage of astronauts and comparison participants were likely to become overweight than the general population. Some of this rising trend may have been a function of the small sample sizes of LSAH participants, and may have reflected their propensity to gain weight as they age. As indicated by their R-squared value, all trend lines showed good representation of their respective data points and their trend over time (compared to an R-squared maximum value of one.)
The obesity comparison showed both astronauts and comparison participants maintaining much lower obesity prevalence as compared to the general population. The trend lines suggested that LSAH participants become obese at a lower rate than the general population, with astronauts maintaining lower obesity than the comparison participants. However, R-squared values for the astronauts’ and comparison participants’ obesity trend lines indicated a higher variability for their obesity data than their overweight data.
Taken together, these comparisons suggest that although LSAH participants maintain much lower obesity as compared to the general population, their overweight trends show a rapid rise that may result in prevalences similar to that of the general population. Aging is certainly a factor in the rapid rise of their overweight prevalence. However, they may do well to take action to decrease their overweight prevalences for the sake of their health.
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