Millennials, It's Not Our Fault We Can't Lose Weight
The Debrief: Apparently it's not as simple as eating less/exercising more.
According to a study published in the journal Obesity Research & Clinical Practice, it really is harder for adults today to maintain the same weight as adults 20-30 years ago, even when we have the same food intake and do the same exercise.
Analysing the data of 36,400 Americans from 1971-2008 and the physical activity of 14,419 people from 1988-2006, they found that a person in 2006 who eats the same amount of calories, macronutrients (such as protein and fat) and exercises the same amount as a person of the same age in 1988, would have a BMI about 2.3 points higher. Meaning that people today are about 10% heavier than those in the 1980s.
'Our study results suggest that if you are 40 years old now, you’d have to eat even less and exercise more than if you were a 40 year old in 1971, to prevent gaining weight,' says Professor Jennifer Kuk in the School of Kinesiology and Health Science, who was party of the team who conducted the study. 'However, it also indicates there may be other specific changes contributing to the rise in obesity beyond just diet and exercise.'
In other words, it's not just a case of 'exercise more and eat less' when you want to shift a few pounds.
'…weight management is actually much more complex than just ‘energy in’ versus ‘energy out,' Kuk explained. She went on to say that body weight is impacted by our lifestyle and environment, and things such as medication, environmental pollutants, genetics, timing of food intake, stress, gut bacteria and even nighttime light exposure. The rise in prescription drugs and possibly a change in the micro biomes (microorganisms) that live in the body due to our change in diet over the last 20-30 years, can effect how easy it is for someone to gain/lose weight. 'Ultimately, maintaining a healthy body weight is now more challenging than ever.'
Which is comforting in a 'hey, it's my micro biomes fault I can't lose a few pounds' kind of way, but also, pretty annoying. So not only did the older generation miss out on cataclysmic rent prices, they could afford to get on the property ladder and they could lose weight more easily. Cheers then.
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