Is is really harder to lose weight than it was 30 years ago?
For the study the researchers have used the data gathered from around 36,400 American adults starting from 1971 till 2008. They used that data to compare with the information gathered from 14,400 adults between the years of 1988 and 2006. Both of the data were gathered for the National Health and Nutrition Survey. The participants were asked about their age, weight, height, and eating and exercise habits.
Using the information provided by the participants, the researchers have calculated their BMI (the Body Mass Index). They then compared people from 1971 and from 2008 who reported having pretty much the same diet. What they found is that the subjects from 2008 had on average a 10% heavier and had a 2.3 points higher BMI. Regarding the participants with the same activity levels from 1988 and 2006, the subjects from 2006 were around 5% heavier.
The authors of the study also considered the reasons why this tendency occurs. Some of the hypotheses included the exposure to more chemicals in our everyday lives, which could promote weight gain. The other assumption was based on the amount of prescription drugs that people tend to take and that can also cause weight gain and prevent people from losing weight. Finally, researchers considered that our organisms could have changed with time, specifically the gut bacteria. These changes could potentially make people more prone to gain weight.
Considering the tendency, the authors of the study are believe that if you are in your middle 20’s, you will probably need to eat even less food and to exercise even more to maintain your weight in future.