If you’re a Millennial, your parents had it easier growing up—at least when it came to keeping off the pounds. They could eat more, exercise less, and still avoid obesity, according to a York University study.
The researchers analyzed dietary data of nearly 36,400 American adults previously collected by the National Health and Nutrition Survey between 1971 and 2008, as well as the physical activity frequency data of 14,419 adults in 1988 to 2006. Based on this information, researchers were able to estimate people would be 10 percent heavier in 2008 than in 1971, according to the amount of food participants’ self-reported having eaten, and about five percent heavier for skipping out on a given amount of physical activity in 1988 than 2006.
Maybe it’s because your parents and grandparents used to walk uphill both ways no matter where they went as kids, and that counts for something, right? Not exactly.
“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,” says study author Jennifer Kuk. “However, it also indicates there may be other specific changes contributing to the rise in obesity beyond just diet and exercise.”
Factors like our lifestyle, genetics, the environment, pollutants, stress, gut bacteria, when we eat, even light exposure before bed has an effect on our body. So dropping some pounds or keeping the weight off is challenging now more than ever. But, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible—MensFitness.com is loaded with weight loss, training, and nutrition advice to help you attain any goal.