Do you sometimes feel that no matter what you do, you gain weight? Green juice, quinoa and pilates are everywhere, but it’s harder for today’s adults to maintain a healthy weight than adults back in the 1980s and 1990s. Why is that true? Is a cosmic deity punishing us for our hubris, making it harder to lose weight?
According to a study published in the journal Obesity Research & Clinical Practice showed some shocking information. A person in 2006 who ate the same number of calories and exercised the same amount as a person of the same age in 1988 had a body mass index (BMI) nearly 2.3 points higher.
Translation: people today weigh in about 10 percent heavier than just 20 or 30 years ago, despite following the same diet and exercise regimens.
What Factors Could Cause Bodies To Hold On To Weight?
This depressing news could be due to three different factors, according to the study’s authors.
The first one: adults today are exposed to a lot more toxic stuff than in the past. Pesticides and chemicals in food packaging could be responsible for changing hormonal processes. Therefore, this affects the way our bodies are able to maintain weight.
The second factor: medications. Many prescription drugs, including antidepressants like Prozac and many others have been linked to weight gain. Science has brought medicine a long way in the past 20 years. However, many people suffer from unwanted side effects, such as weight gain or difficulty in losing weight.
The final one is a little trickier. Scientists behind the study suspect that microbiomes (bacteria that lives in our digestive systems) changed for the worse with our increasingly meat- and chemical-heavy diets. Changing gut bacteria can, over time, result in significant changes to the way our bodies process and store calories.
So what’s the takeaway here? Well, maybe don’t feel bad if you can’t fit into your mom’s excellent plaid grunge pants from the early 90s.