Hey, Millennials: If We Lived in the 1980s, You Would Be Skinnier, Study Says
Welp, in today’s evidence that life is completely unfair: A recent study published in the journal Obesity Research and Clinical Practice found that it’s harder, even when you’re eating the same amount and exercising the same amount, for adults today to maintain the same weight as adults did 20 to 30 years back, The Atlantic reports. Insert all the sobbing emojis here.
The study looked at data from over 36,000 Americans between 1971 and 2008, along with the physical activity data of over 14,000 people between 1988 and 2006. What they found is this: A person eating kale salads and quinoa bowls day in and day out and exercising a decent amount in the 2000s would still be 10 percent heavier than someone eating kale salads and quinoa bowls day in and day out and exercising a decent amount in 1988. (Though, I don’t know, did they have quinoa bowls in 1988? Probably not.) Point is: Adults today are roughly 10 percent heavier than adults were in 1980, even when they consume the same amount of calories, protein and fat and exercise the same amount.
If you’re wondering the same thing as I am (WTF?), the study author, Jennifer Kuk, gave The Atlantic a few theories for why it’s harder to be thin now than it was a couple decades back: For one, there are way more chemicals around now — pesticides, stuff in food packaging and so on — that could be messing with our hormones; then there’s the surge in use of prescription drugs, many of which have been linked to weight gain; lastly, in the past few decades, our gut bacteria might’ve changed which could be messing with our weight.
This news is kind of nice in a way, because who hasn’t wondered why they can’t seem to lose that last four pounds? Blame it on the times. But it’s also a serious reminder to think more about what we put into our bodies and what chemicals we surround ourselves with. As Kuk told The Atlantic, this research “indicates there may be other specific changes contributing to the rise in obesity just beyond diet and exercise.”
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