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Researchers: Weight Loss Is Harder Today Than It Was Twenty Years Ago

Millennials may end up heavier than those who lived 20 years even if they have the same eating habits, according to a study by the Obesity Research & Clinical Practice.

The study revealed that a person in 2006 that consumed the same amount of calories and exercised for the same amount of time as a person of the same age in 1988 would have a BMI 2.3 points higher, and weighed 10 percent more.

Jennifer Kuk, Professor of Kinesiology and Health Science at Toronto’s York University, was quoted by USA Today as saying that people would have to eat less and exercise than those older than them.

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.

According to The Atlantic, researchers claim three main reasons for the increase in weight gain.

One reason is that Humans are exposed to more chemicals than they were 20 years ago. Chemicals like pesticides, fire retardants and chemicals in food packaging all may be linked to hormonal process changes, which changes the way that the body manages weight.

The use of prescription drugs is another factor, especially antidepressants. Many of them, including Prozac, have been linked to weight gain.

The final potential reason is that the human microbiomes have changed since the 1980s, which is linked to the increased consumption of meat. Meats today are treated with chemicals to promote growth, which can over time alter the bacteria found in the human gut, leading to weight loss difficulties.

Dr. Holly F. Lofton, director of the Medical Weight Management Program at NYU, was quoted by CNN as saying she finds the study “very useful” and hops it will open the eyes of many people who are trying to lose weight.

This is a very useful study (…) It seems to point to something either intrinsic in our environment or our bodies … that is more than obvious factors of calorie intake and expenditure.

Lofton also added that a lack of sleep can cause weight gain for two reasons.  Excess stress has been found to result in less sleep which in turn causes the body to store more fat.  Additionally, people who not get enough sleep tend to produce a hormone called ghrelin which can increase appetite.

It has already been proven that more sleep can lower one’s Body Mass Index rating.

What are your thoughts about it being harder to lose weight today than it was 20 years ago?

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