A study published recently in the journal Obesity Research & Clinical Practice found that it's harder for adults to keep their weight today than it was for adults 20 or 30 years ago. And this is even when they eat the same amount of food and do the same amount of exercise.
More specifically, the researchers saw that a person in 2006 having the same calorie, protein, and fat intake, and exercising the same amount as a person of the same age in 1988 has a BMI that was 2.3 points higher! That means people now are about 10 percent heavier than people in the '80s even if they have the same diet plan and workout. WHAT GIVES? Does this mean we have to eat less and exercise more to keep our figures?
Well, yes. But one of the researchers says that maybe there's something else apart from diet and exercise that's making us more prone to weight gain and obesity. Jennifer Kuk, a professor of health science at York University Toronto, listed three factors as to why, although as of now they're still hypotheses:
1. People now are more exposed to chemicals that might result in weight gain. These could be pesticides and hormone-altering substances used in food processing.
2. People's use of antidepressants have also risen in the past decades, and studies have found a link between these prescribed drugs and weight gain.
3. The microbiomes (microanimals that live in the human body like bacteria and fungi) might have changed too. Some bacteria in the stomach can make one more prone to gaining weight and becoming obese than others. It's possible that the change is caused by eating meat loaded with hormones and antibiotics, or eating food loaded with artificial sweeteners.
On one hand there seems to be a call for awareness for what we eat. But the researchers also want to go beyond that and tell everyone to be kinder to all people with different body types. Jennifer says there's a huge stigma against people who are obese, since they're judged as lazy or not having self-control. This research shows they're not entirely to blame. Thank you, science.
Source: The Atlantic
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