Despite obesity’s footed rise in the US, its youngest citizens are actually the healthiest demographic, statistically speaking. According to a recent study conducted by College Group, 80% of Millennials and Gen Zers index natural ingredients as a priority when shopping for food. Even still, 40% of Americans evidence an unhealthy body mass index.
The crisis is informed by many conflicting correlative factors. From where I sit the preponderance belongs to a conflation of diet and nutrition though some experts believe it has more to do with a shift in portion control funded by commercial food chains.
More interesting yet, a new study published in the journal Obesity Research and Clinical Practice, states that it is biologically more challenging to maintain a healthy weight now, compared to the 1980s. More discreetly: a young otherwise person that observed the exact same dietary regimen and exercise routine in 2019 as a young otherwise healthy person 20-30 years ago, would have a higher body mass index regardless. There have been secular developments over the last few decades that have altered the way we process certain foods and nutrients.
“Our study results suggest that if you are 25, you’d have to eat even less and exercise more than those older, to prevent gaining weight,” Jennifer Kuk, a professor of kinesiology and health science at Toronto’s York University, explained in a statement to York Media Relations. “However, it also indicates there may be other specific changes contributing to the rise in obesity beyond just diet and exercise.”
To better focus their supposition, the researchers behind the new study analyzed dietary data of 35,400 Americans between the years 1971 and 2008 and the degree of physical activity acquired by 14,419 Americans between the years 1988 and 2006. They further segmented the information by way of age, portions, and BMI. Strangely, even when the quantity of physical activity, protein, fat, and macronutrient intake matched up, a person from 2006 expressed a BMI that was more than two times higher than someone from 1988. This means irrespective of diet, we are 10% heavier than previous generations.
It’s too early to locate the why definitively, but Dr. Kuk has forwarded some reasoned suspicions. One of these has been documented previously, which is the effect pesticides and preserving chemicals is having on our hormones. Kuk’s additionally interrogates the prevalence of prescription drugs-many of which caution weight gain has a side effect. Lastly, Kuk believes these factors work alongside a slew of others to fundamentally alter our gut microbes.
As previously reported by Ladders, the bacteria community that lives within us is highly influential, moth somatically and psychologically. Kuk concludes, “Factors other than diet and physical activity may be contributing to the increase in BMI over time. Further research is necessary to identify these factors and to determine the mechanisms through which they affect body weight.’
The study titled, Secular differences in the association between caloric intake, macronutrient intake, and physical activity with obesity, was published in the journal Obesity Research and Clinical Practice and was authored by Ruth E.Brown, Arya M.Sharma Chris I.Ardern, PediMirdamadi, PaulMirdamadi, Jennifer L.Kuk.