Are Your Jeans Feeling Tighter?

According to new research published this week in the Journal of Orthopaedic Research, people continue to grown well into their 70s. Interestingly enough, we're not growing taller, but rather we're growing wider.

Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine found that people's hip bones (or pelvic bones) continue to grow even after one has reached skeletal maturity. This growth not only results in a bigger waistline but also in extra pounds. Because the body is widening, it may account for an increase in body weight of about one pound per year for the average person.

426 patients of all different ages participated in the study that used CT scans to measure their width and height. The study found that while most people reach skeletal maturity at 20 years old, their pelvises continued to grow. On average, the pelvic width of the oldest participants in the study was approximately one inch larger than the width of the youngest participants. "Whether or not they also have an increase in body fat, our findings suggest that pelvic growth may contribute to people becoming wider and having a large waist size as they get older," said Dr. Laurence E. Dahners, the study's senior author.